Using diaries, journals, and correspondences, Druett recounts the daily grind surgeons on nineteenth-century whaling ships faced: the rudimentary tools they used, the treatments they had at their disposal, the sorts of people they encountered in their travels, and the dangers they faced under the harsh conditions of life at sea.
"This book is literally a page-turner - I could not put it down - filled with new windows on history, technology and personal experience. It can be highly recommended." -- John Townley, International Journal of Maritime History
"...You definitely do want to read the author's colorful stories." -- The Dallas Morning News
"Those who enjoyed Patrick O'Brian's eye for historical detail will delight in Druett." -- Publisher's Weekly
"Druett offers us a vivid sense of shipboard life in her descriptions of medicines, surgical tools, the tumult of a whale hunt and treatment of such common ailments as dysentery, dropsy, syphilis, scurvy and insanity." -- The Arizona Republic
"Joan Druett's latest work lives up to her reputation as one of our foremost chroniclers of maritime lore." -- Roy Porter, author of The Greatest Benefit to Mankind
"A wonderfully effective therapy for anyone interested in the story of the sea...Invigorating." -- Tim Severin, author of In Search of Moby Dick and The Brendan Voyage
"Filled with accounts of the drama and tedium of whaling, exciting battles with whales, and the occasional gruesome medical event, the book should please sailing buffs, history buffs, and fans of the well-told, lifely story." -- William Beatty, Booklist