Nathaniel Philbrick

Nathaniel Philbrick (born June 11, 1956) is an American author and a member of the Philbrick literary family. He won the year 2000 National Book Award for his maritime history, In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex.[1][2][3] His 2006 Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War was named one of The New York Times' ten best books of the year and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for History.

Nathaniel Philbrick
Nathaniel Philbrick in 2004
Nathaniel Philbrick in 2004
BornJune 11, 1956 (age 62)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
OccupationNovelist, historian
SpouseMelissa Douthart Philbrick

Personal life

Nathaniel Philbrick was born on June 11, 1956, in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Marianne (Dennis) and Thomas Philbrick, an English professor.[4][5] He currently lives in Nantucket, Massachusetts.[6]

Philbrick is married to Melissa Douthart Philbrick, who is Executive Director of Remain Nantucket. They have two children, Jennie and Ethan. He moved to Nantucket, Massachusetts in 1986, and is a leading authority on the history of the island.[2][7][8]


Philbrick graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School[9] in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, earned his bachelor's degree in English at Brown University, and his master's degree in American literature at Duke University.[3][7]

Philbrick was Brown's first Intercollegiate All-American sailor in 1978; that year he won the Sunfish North Americans in Barrington, Rhode Island.[10]


After grad school, Philbrick worked for four years at Sailing World magazine; was a freelancer for a number of years, during which time he wrote/edited several sailing books, including Yaahting: A Parody (1984), for which he was the editor-in-chief; during this time he was also the primary caregiver for his two children. After moving to Nantucket in 1986, he became interested in the history of the island and wrote Away Off Shore: Nantucket Island and Its People. He was offered the opportunity to start the Egan Maritime Institute in 1995.

In 2000, he published In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. This was followed by Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery, The U.S. Exploring Expedition, in 2003. In 2006, Philbrick published a new history of the founding of the Plymouth colony in the United States, Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War. The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn was published in May 2010. His book, Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution about Boston during the early years of the Revolution was published on April 30, 2013.[10]


In the Heart of the Sea won the National Book Award for Nonfiction;[1] Revenge of the Whale won a Boston Globe Horn Book Award; Sea of Glory won the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize and the Albion-Monroe Award from the National Maritime Historical Society. Mayflower was a finalist for both the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for History[11] and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and it won the Massachusetts Book Award for nonfiction. The Last Stand was named a New York Times Notable book, a 2010 Montana Book Award Honor Book, and a 2011 ALA Notable Book. Why Read Moby-Dick? was a finalist for the New England Society Book Award and was named to the 2012 Listen List for Outstanding Audiobook Narration from the Reference and User Services Association, a division of the ALA. Bunker Hill was awarded both the 2013 New England Book Award for Non-Fiction and the 2014 New England Society Book Award as well as the 2014 Distinguished Book Award of the Society of Colonial Wars.

Philbrick has also received the Byrne Waterman Award from the Kendall Whaling Museum, the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for distinguished service from the USS Constitution Museum, the Nathaniel Bowditch Award from the American Merchant Marine Museum, the William Bradford Award from the Pilgrims Society, the Boston History Award from the Bostonian Society, and the New England Book Award from the New England Independent Booksellers Association.


External video
Booknotes interview with Philbrick on Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery, the U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838–1842, January 25, 2004, C-SPAN


  • Second Wind: A Sunfish Sailor's Odyssey. Mill Hill Press, 1999.
  • Yaahting: A Parody. 1984.
  • The Passionate Sailor. Contemporary Press, 1987.
  • Away Off Shore: Nantucket Island and Its People, 1602-1890. Penguin, 1993. ISBN 978-0143120124
  • Abram's Eyes: The Native American Legacy of Nantucket Island. Mill Hill Press, 1998.
  • In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. Penguin, 1999. ISBN 0-14-100182-8
  • Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery: the U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842. New York: Viking, 2001. ISBN 067003231X OCLC 52086279
  • Revenge of the Whale: The True Story of the Whaleship Essex. Putnam Juvenile, 2002.
  • Mayflower: a Story of Courage, Community, and War. New York: Viking, 2006. ISBN 0-670-03760-5 OCLC 62766154
  • The Mayflower and the Pilgrims' New World: The Story of Plymouth Colony for Young Readers. Putnam Juvenile, 2006.
  • The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn. New York: Viking, 2010. ISBN 0670021725 OCLC 456171728
  • Bunker Hill: a City, a Siege, a Revolution. New York: Viking, 2013. ISBN 0-670-02544-5 OCLC 818953755
  • The First Thanksgiving. 2013.
  • Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution New York: Viking, 2016. ISBN 978-0525426783 [12]
  • In the Hurricane's Eye: The Genius of George Washington and the Victory at Yorktown, 2018.[12]
  • Why Read Moby Dick? New York: Viking, 2010. ISBN 978-0670022991


In the Heart of the Sea is the basis of the Warner Bros. motion picture of the same name, directed by Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Ben Wishaw, and Tom Holland, released in December 2015.[13] The book also inspired a 2001 Dateline special on NBC as well as the 2010 two-hour PBS American Experience film "Into the Deep" by Ric Burns.

The Last Stand is currently being adapted for a ten-hour, multi-part television series.[14]

Bunker Hill has been optioned by Warner Bros. for feature film adaptation with Ben Affleck attached to direct.[12] In 2016, screenwriter Aaron Stockard (The Town, Gone Baby Gone) was signed to the project.[15]

See also


  1. ^ a b "National Book Awards – 2000". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  2. ^ a b "Nathaniel Philbrick". National Book Festival author biography. US Library of Congress. Retrieved March 6, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Drew, Bernard. 100 Most Popular Nonfiction Authors: Biographical Sketches and Bibliographies. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Libraries Unlimited, 2007. ISBN 1-59158-487-6
  4. ^ "Nathaniel Philbrick » Preface".
  5. ^ "Charles Dennis". The Marion Star.
  6. ^ "Nathaniel Philbrick: About". Retrieved 2011-04-19.
  7. ^ a b "Backgrounder - Nathaniel Philbrick." Smithsonian Institution Libraries. No date.. Retrieved 2009-05-26.
  8. ^ "ReMain Nantucket".
  9. ^ Behe, Regis (2007-04-25). "Behe, Regis. "Authors, Chef Highlight Drue Heinz Lecture Series." ''Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.'' April 25, 2007". Archived from the original on February 2, 2009. Retrieved 2010-05-18.
  10. ^ a b "Nathaniel Philbrick » About". Retrieved 2016-05-21.
  11. ^ "History". Past winners & finalists by category. The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  12. ^ a b c Publishers Weekly, "Book Deals: Week of September 30, 2013"
  13. ^ somf (11 December 2015). "In the Heart of the Sea (2015)". IMDb.
  14. ^ The Hollywood Reporter "Hollywood's 25 Most Powerful Authors"
  15. ^ McNary, Dave (2016-04-05). "Aaron Stockard Set to Write Ben Affleck's 'Bunker Hill' Movie". Variety. Retrieved 2016-05-20.

External links

Clancy Philbrick

Clarence Hunt Philbrick (born April 24, 1986 in Providence, Rhode Island) (commonly known as Clancy) is an American

contemporary artist whose work includes painting, photography, sculpture, street art, and literature. Philbrick has lived and exhibited in Connecticut, New York City, New Zealand, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Denver, and Aspen, CO.

Clancy was raised in the sea-side town of Stonington, CT. He attended The Williams School in New London, CT graduating alongside pop singer Cassie Ventura. In high school Clancy won a public mural award allowing him to turn one of his paintings into a large public piece in downtown New London across from Wyland's painting The Great Sperm Whales. After high school Clancy attended Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, receiving his bachelor's degree in studio art in 2008.

In 2009 Clancy painted a large rock into a pink brain, dubbed The Brain Rock, on the Connecticut shoreline sparking local controversy after an article on the rock was published in The Day and The New York Times. Although originally arrested for the act by Amtrak police on charges of trespass and criminal mischief, the case was eventually dropped. Later in 2009 Clancy helped create a monthly artistic and musical happening titled Art After Dark at the Mystic Arts Center in Mystic, CT. In February 2010 Clancy founded the By:Us Art Collective.The Philbrick family has a strong literary and artistic tradition. Clancy is the grandson of award-winning poet Charles Philbrick, the nephew of author Stephen Philbrick, and the cousin of both bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick and former professional baseball player turned author Frank Philbrick. In late 2010 Clancy completed his first collection of poems titled Stealing You From Nothing: The Journals of Clarence Brick, which remains unpublished.

Edward Winslow

Edward Winslow (18 October 1595 – 8 May 1655) was a Separatist who traveled on the Mayflower in 1620. He was one of several senior leaders on the ship and also later at Plymouth Colony. Both Edward Winslow and his brother, Gilbert Winslow signed the Mayflower Compact. In Plymouth he served in a number of governmental positions such as assistant governor, three times was governor and also was the colony's agent in London. In early 1621 he had been one of several key leaders on whom Governor Bradford depended after the death of John Carver. He was the author of several important pamphlets, including Good Newes from New England and co-wrote with William Bradford the historic Mourt's Relation, which ends with an account of the First Thanksgiving and the abundance of the New World. In 1655 he died of fever while on an English naval expedition in the Caribbean against the Spanish.

He is the only original Plymouth colonist with an extant portrait painted from life. This, along with portraits of Winslow's son and daughter-in-law, and various Winslow family artifacts, are in the Pilgrim Hall Museum, in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Fortune (Plymouth Colony ship)

Also see sister article: Passengers of 1621 Fortune voyageIn the fall of 1621 the Fortune was the second English ship destined for Plymouth Colony in the New World, one year after the voyage of the Pilgrim ship Mayflower. Financed as the Mayflower was by Thomas Weston and others of the London-based Merchant Adventurers, Fortune was to transport thirty-five settlers to the colony on a ship that was much smaller than Mayflower. The Fortune required two months to prepare for the voyage and once underway, reached Cape Cod on 9 November 1621 and the colony itself in late November. The ship was unexpected by those in Plymouth colony and although it brought useful settlers, many of whom were young men, it brought no supplies, further straining the limited food resources of the colony. The ship only stayed in the colony about three weeks, returning to England in December loaded with valuable furs and other goods. But when nearing England, instead of heading to the English Channel, a navigation error caused the ship to sail south-east to the coast of France, where it was overtaken and seized by a French warship.

The Fortune finally arrived back in London in February 1622, over two months after leaving Plymouth, but without its valuable cargo. In the end, Weston lost his total investment in the Fortune voyage making it worthwhile only in providing Plymouth colony with new settlers, some of whom became notable persons in the history of the colony.

Great Comet of 1819

The Great Comet of 1819, officially designated as C/1819 N1, also known as Comet Tralles, was an easily visible brilliant comet, approaching an apparent magnitude of 1–2, discovered July 1, 1819 by Johann Georg Tralles in Berlin, Germany. It was the first comet analyzed using polarimetry, by François Arago.

In the Heart of the Sea

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex is a book by American writer Nathaniel Philbrick about the loss of the whaler Essex in the Pacific Ocean in 1820. The book was published by Viking Press on May 8, 2000, and won the 2000 National Book Award for Nonfiction. It was adapted into a film of the same name, which came out in late 2015.

Josiah Winslow

Josiah Winslow was born in Plymouth Colony about 1628 and died in 1680 in Marshfield, Plymouth Colony. In records of the time, historians also name him Josias Winslow, and modern writers have carried that name forward. He was born one year after the Charter which founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony, bringing over 20,000 English immigrants to New England in the 1630s. Josiah was the Harvard College-educated son of Mayflower passenger and Pilgrim leader Edward Winslow and was Governor from 1673 to 1680. The most significant event during his term in office was King Philip's War, which created great havoc for both the English and Indian populations and changed New England forever. Josiah was the first native born governor of an American Colony.


The Mayflower was an English ship that transported the first English Puritans, known today as the Pilgrims, from Plymouth, England, to the New World in 1620. There were 102 passengers, and the crew is estimated to have been about 30, but the exact number is unknown. The ship has become a cultural icon in the history of the United States. The Pilgrims signed the Mayflower Compact prior to leaving the ship and establishing Plymouth Colony, a document which established a rudimentary form of democracy with each member contributing to the welfare of the community. There was a second ship named Mayflower, which made the London to Plymouth, Massachusetts, voyage several times.

Mayflower Compact

The Mayflower Compact was the first governing document of Plymouth Colony. It was written by the male passengers of the Mayflower, consisting of separatist Puritans, adventurers, and tradesmen. The Puritans were fleeing from religious persecution by King James of England.

The Mayflower Compact was signed aboard ship on November 11, 1620. They used the Julian Calendar, also known as Old Style dates, which was ten days behind the Gregorian Calendar. Signing the covenant were 41 of the ship's 101 passengers while the Mayflower was anchored in Provincetown Harbor within the hook at the northern tip of Cape Cod.


Nathaniel (less frequently, Nathanel, Nathanael or Nathanial) is a given name derived from the Greek form of the Hebrew נְתַנְאֵל (Netan'el), meaning "God/El has given" or "Gift of God/El."Netan'el appears in the Tanach as a brother of King David (1-Chronicles 2:14).The name is borne by an apostle of Christ, according to the Gospel of John (1:45; 21:2).

New England Colonies

The New England Colonies of British America included Connecticut Colony, the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Massachusetts Bay Colony, and the Province of New Hampshire, as well as a few smaller short-lived colonies. The New England colonies were part of the Thirteen Colonies and eventually became five of the six states in New England. Captain John Smith's 1616 work A Description of New England first applied the term "New England" to the coastal lands from Long Island Sound to Newfoundland.


Philbrick is a locational surname of British origin. An alternative spelling is Philbrook. The surname spread to America when Thomas Philbrick emigrated to Massachusetts in 1633. The name may refer to:

Clancy Philbrick (born 1986), American artist

David Philbrick Conner (born 1949), American businessman

Frank Philbrick (born 1978), American writer

George A. Philbrick (1913–1974), American engineer

Herbert Philbrick (1915–1993), American businessman

John Dudley Philbrick (1818–1886), American educator

Joseph Philbrick Webster (1819–1875), American musician

Nathaniel Philbrick (born 1956), American writer

Rodman Philbrick (born 1951), American writer

Stephen Philbrick (born 1949), American writer

Revenge of the Whale

Revenge of the Whale was written by Nathaniel Philbrick. The 2002 historical book recounts the 1820 sinking of the whaleship Essex by an enraged sperm whale and how the crew of young men survived against impossible odds. Revenge of the Whale is based on the author's adult book In the Heart of the Sea.

By the same title, the dramatized documentary movie production of Revenge of the Whale was released as a TV Movie on September 7, 2001.

Scott Brick

Scott Brick (born (1966-01-30)January 30, 1966 in Santa Barbara, California) is an American actor, writer and award-winning narrator of over 800 audiobooks, including popular titles such as Washington: A Life, Moneyball, Cloud Atlas, A Princess of Mars, The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, Atlas Shrugged, Sideways, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (filmed as Blade Runner), I, Robot, Mystic River, Helter Skelter, Patriot Games, Bid Time Return (filmed as Somewhere in Time), In Cold Blood, the Dune series, Ender's Game, and Fahrenheit 451. He has narrated works for a number of high-profile authors, including Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, Michael Crichton, John Grisham, Clive Cussler, Stephen J. Cannell, William Faulkner, Nelson DeMille, Brad Meltzer, Harlan Coben, Gregg Hurwitz, David Baldacci, Orson Scott Card, Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson, Joseph Finder, Stephen R. Donaldson, Nathaniel Philbrick, Terry Brooks, Steve Berry, Gene Wilder, Philip K. Dick, Dennis Lehane, Douglas J. Preston, Lincoln Child, Ayn Rand, Justin Cronin and Isaac Asimov, among others.

Stephen Philbrick

Stephen Philbrick is an American author, poet, and licensed United Church of Christ minister. He is the son of poet Charles Horace Philbrick, the father of author Frank Philbrick, the brother of master furniture maker Timothy Philbrick, the cousin of author Nathaniel Philbrick, and the uncle of artist Clancy Philbrick. He is a linchpin of the Philbrick literary family. Philbrick graduated from Brown University in 1971, and now lives in Windsor, Massachusetts. Philbrick is the minister of the West Cummington Congregational Church, which burned to the ground in 2010. The church was rebuilt in the following two years and reopened on November 4, 2012. The occasion of the reopening was marked by a celebration of the congregation and a service by Philbrick.

Thomas Prence

Thomas Prence (c. 1601 – March 29, 1673) was an English born colonist who arrived in Plymouth in November 1621 on the ship Fortune. In 1644 he moved to Eastham, which he helped found, returning later to Plymouth. For many years he was prominent in Plymouth colony affairs and was colony governor for about twenty years covering three terms.

Thomas Willett

Thomas Willett (1605 – August 29, 1674) was a British merchant, Plymouth Colony trader and sea-captain, Commissioner of New Netherland, magistrate of Plymouth Colony, Captain of the Plymouth Colony militia and was the 1st and 3rd Mayor of New York City, prior to the consolidation of the five boroughs into the City of New York in 1898.

William White (Mayflower passenger)

William White (c.1580 – February 21, 1621) was a passenger on the Mayflower. Accompanied by his wife Susanna, son Resolved and two servants, he travelled in 1620 on the historic voyage. He was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact and perished early in the history of Plymouth Colony.


Yaahting: A Parody was a 1984 parody of the boating magazine genre, most notably Yachting. It was published by Dreadnaught Publishing, a short lived Massachusetts based company. The main publishing staff were: Publisher was Elizabeth Meyer, Publisher; Nathaniel Philbrick, Editor-in-chief; Peter Gow, Executive Editor; William Gotha, Design Director; and Bob Payne, Advertising Coordinator.

Yaahting consisted of a number of short pieces lampooning typical examples of nautical journalism: self-congratulatory how-to pieces, "How to Walk Down a Dock," "Restoring the Buzzards Bay 23," and "At Last--A Real Instant Boat;" fawning interviews of famous yachtsmen, "Hog Wild in Wallenda" and "Tom Blackballer Looks Ahead;" and fatuous cruising tales, "Hearth of Darkness," "Cruising the Persian Gulf," and "A Perfect Cruising World." Other features included reportage on faux race events ("The Alcatraz 100," "The Flying Squat Nationals," "Going for Broke," and "The Inquirer Singlehanded TransAt Race") and features on absurd vessels ("Soave 48HRS--The Shape of Things to Come," "Dumpster Ahoy!" and "Hiva-Oa"). A number of the articles were written as specific parodies of the style of popular writers of the era; travel writer Patience Wales was targeted as "Prudence Porpoise," and globetrotters Lin and Larry Pardee became Lint and Berry Nurdee.

Notable in the magazine were the spectacular color photographs, many set up by publisher Meyer and the products of such well-known nautical photographers as Alastair Black, Christian Fevrier, Daniel Forster, Benjamin Mendlowitz, Dan Nerney, and Neil Rabinowitz. Artwork included contributions by Jan Adkins, Don Demers, Robert Forget, and Jeremy Ross. Several famous figures in the sailing world of the 1980s served as photographic models, including Tom Blackaller and Robby Doyle.

Included are many photographs of disasters and embarrassments, outtakes from the files of maritime photographers featuring dismastings, collisions, and other examples of bad luck and questionable seamanship. Photographers were eager to find a home for these photographs, which were otherwise unpublishable in mainstream periodicals.

Yaahting also featured nearly a hundred pages of parody advertisements and short articles organized by "department."

Roughly 30,000 copies of Yaahting were produced and were sold directly by Dreadnaught as well as through bookstores and Nauticalia dealers.

Publisher Elizabeth Meyer went on to restore the J-Boat Endeavour, and she is now a principal in J Class Management of Newport, Rhode Island, and of the International Yacht Restoration School. In 1987 Dreadnaught Publishing also produced The Concordia Yawls: The First Fifty Years.

Editor-in-chief Nathaniel Philbrick is a writer on maritime and historical subjects. His bestselling In the Heart of the Sea won the National Book Award in 2001. His book Mayflower (2006) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and was also a bestseller. Executive editor Peter Gow teaches and has written on educational, historical, and maritime subjects, including a meditation on the educative power of being on the water, The Watery Realm (2006). Advertising coordinator Bob Payne is a well-known travel writer.

Yaahting was an example of the parody genre that flourished in the 1970s and '80s, inspired by other magazine send-ups produced by The Harvard Lampoon and others.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.