The White Whale

LEE, Henry. The White Whale.

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no beluga for brighton.

LEE, Henry. The White Whale. London R. K. Burt & Co. 1878.

8vo. Original yellow printed wrappers; pp.16; evenly a little browned.
Sole edition of this compilation of sightings of white Beluga whales, starting in the early 1860s. Lee opens the rare pamphlet with an account of the acquisition of a live specimen by the Royal Aquarium in Brighton. The female, only nine feet long, had been captured near Labrador, but survived for only three days. Lee includes a report of the autopsy which he had carried out together with Henry Flower, and a general natural history of Beluga whales, as well as a section on exhibiting whales, provided with references to historic sources as early as Rondelet. - Melville's Moby-Dick is unfortunately not referred to, due to the temporary obscurity of the novel.