The gripping true story of one of the 19th century's bloodiest mutinies, written by an award-winning maritime historian.On May 25, 1841, the Massachusetts whaleship Sharon set out on what became one of the most notorious voyages of that century, and one of its best-kept secrets.Commanded by Captain Howes Norris, the Sharon headed for the whaling grounds of the northwestern Pacific. At Pohnpei Island, 12 men from the Sharon deserted the ship, leaving her critically shorthanded. After steering for New Zealand to recruit more crew, the men on lookout raised a school of sperm whales. Two boats gave chase, each with a crew of six. Five men were left on board the Sharon: Norris, three pacific Islanders, and a Portuguese boy named Manuel. While Manuel was in the rigging, the natives hacked the captain to death.The story of the mutiny, the murder, and the ship's eventual recapture unfolds in breathless detail. Why did so many men desert the Sharon? Why did the so-called "savages" kill the captain? Were the seeds of disaster sown long before that bloody day? You'll follow the events eagerly, as did an aspiring young writer of the time: Herman Melville.
©2003 Joan Druett. Published by arrangement with Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill; (P)2003 HighBridge Company