NANTUCKET - PREMIERE WHALING TOWN OF THE WORLD FOR A TIME...
After a short time, the poor soil was not god for farming so they looked elsewhere to support their families. After a whale had beached itself on Nantucket, they took up whaling. At one time Nantuket was the whaling capitol of the world, providing most of the whale oil to London and elsewhere. Only after the discovery of kerosene did Nantucket quickly die. But during the high time of whale oil, Nantucket grew with big houses and big ships
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"the Tyre of this Carthage"
According to the Bible the Canaanites sacrificed children to their god Moloch at Tophet south of Jerusalem. Tophet is also a synonym for hell.
Euroclydon is a cyclonic north-east wind which blows in the Mediterranean. In the Bible it was the wind which wrecked the apostle Paul's ship on the coast of Malta while on his way to Rome. The modern name for the wind is the Gregale.
Melville's allegorical disclaimer - INDISTINCT PICTURE METAPHOR FOR BOOK ITSELF
IMPRESSIONIST SEASCAPES OF PERIOD - JMW Turner - Romantic/Impressionist PROTOTYPE. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._M._W._Turner#Personal_life)
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The ancient Greeks believed that a mythical people lived in a land to the far north of Thrace called Hyperborea. They believed that Boreas (the North Wind) lived in Thrace and so Hyperborea meant a location "beyond the Boreas," possibly in the Arctic.
BOOK OF JONAH - PROPHET RENOUNCES MISSION, REDEEMED BY WHALE
Bible reference, Melantrich Bible illustration
Several such tales circulated - two notable in New Zealand, explaining Ishmael's leap?
Online edition of Barnet Burns
Online edition of John Rutherford
German magician Johann Friedrich Alexander Heimbürger (1819 - 1909) was internationally renowned at the time, having embarked a wide-ranging tour of the American continent - including a performance for then-President James K. Polk in the mid-1840s.