Page 26. " there was a fine, boisterous something about everything connected with that famous old island "

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

SUPERCEDED BY NEW BEDFORD

"the Tyre of this Carthage"

Page 28. " It seemed the great Black Parliament sitting in Tophet. "

According to the Bible the Canaanites sacrificed children to their god Moloch at Tophet south of Jerusalem. Tophet is also a synonym for hell.

Page 28. " where that tempestous wind Euroclydon "

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.

Page 30. " A boggy, soggy, squitchy picture truly "

THE PICTURE

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)

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_dLSVgS5AxBI/ShuChNxGZWI/AAAAAAAAeXM/AdRHxFVYen8/s400/Yacht_Turner.jpg

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Arts/Arts_/Pictures/2009/8/27/1251361277676/JMW-Turners-Snow-Storm-an-001.jpg

http://www.victorianweb.org/painting/turner/paintings/stormysea.jpg

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Page 30. " It's a Hyperborean winter scene. "

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.

Page 31. " in those jaws of swift destruction, like another cursed Jonah "

BOOK OF JONAH - PROPHET RENOUNCES MISSION, REDEEMED BY WHALE

Bible reference, Melantrich Bible illustration

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Melantrich51.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ji%C5%99%C3%AD_Melantrich_of_Aventino

Page 39. " I remembered a story of a white man - a whaleman too - who, falling among cannibals, had been tattooed by them "

Several such tales circulated - two notable in New Zealand, explaining Ishmael's leap?

Online edition of Barnet Burns

http://www.enzb.auckland.ac.nz/document/1844_-_Burns%2C_Barnet._A_Brief_Narrative_of_a_New_Zealand_Chief_%5BHocken_Library_facsim._1970%5D/%5BFront_Matter_and_Introduction%5D/p1?action=null

Online edition of John Rutherford

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/13760/13760-h/13760-h.htm

Page 50. " Can Herr Alexander perform a feat like that? "

 

 

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.