THE WHALE: A LOVE STORY is a rich and captivating novel set amid the witty, high-spirited literary society of 1850s New England. It offers a new window on Herman Melville’s emotionally charged relationship with Nathaniel Hawthorne and how it transformed his masterpiece, MOBY-DICK.
Mark Beauregard has spent years steeped in the source material for this novel, researching in archives, visiting the homes and estates of Melville, Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes and other prominent authors, and even hiking the mountain where Hawthorne and Melville first met.
“Absorbing . . . Drawing from Melville’s letters, Beauregard offers up not only an inventive, fictional take on the deeply felt relationship between the two writers but also a sharp examination of the very real struggles Melville faced creatively and financially. For lovers of biography-driven historical fiction and American literary classics.” —Booklist (starred review)
“In the summer of 1850, Herman Melville met Nathaniel Hawthorne at a Massachusetts picnic, and the lives of both men were changed forever. . . . Readers will come to reconsider what they know about the two authors, and those who approach with an open mind may find their views on the writings of Melville and Hawthorne permanently changed.” —Publishers Weekly
“The Whale is fiction, of course, although the author is careful to depart as little as possible from the historical record, but the accuracy of the premise is of less interest than Beauregard’s immense skill in rendering Melville’s inner voice—an impressive feat of authorly ventriloquism. Beauregard has captured the true hide and grit of that God- and nature-haunted 19th-century mind in all its rough, baroque, oddly tender poetry.” —The Washington Post
"Sensitive, keenly observant, often funny, and exquisitely written. A moving interpretation of Melville's transformative relationship with Hawthorne that speaks in the frank language of our time." —Elizabeth Renker, Ph.D., Ohio State University
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