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May 2024
1min read

Thank you, from an old sailor (I served aboard the Essex-class carrier Valley Forge after World War II), for the seafaring issue (April/May). The story of the Essex disaster was particularly interesting because of its repercussions throughout American literature of that period. Also, could that story be the origin or inspiration for the poem “The Yarn of the Nancy Bell” by W. S. Gilbert? This is about a shipwreck, too, and a sample verse suggests the connection:

For a month we’d neither wittles nor drink, Till a-hungry we did feel, So we drawed a lot, and, accordin, shot The captain for our meal.

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