Book review: ‘Leviathan or, the Whale’ by Philip Hoare

A wonderful history of man's relationship with the whale.

LeviathanPhilip Hoare's meticulously researched book, which is destined to become a classic, tells you pretty much everything you need to know about man's historical relationship with whales. It's a fascinating read. The book shares the same subtitle, or, The Whale, as Herman Melville's Moby Dick, and both Melville and his famous whaling novel feature prominently throughout the first half of Hoare's book.

But this book isn't just an investigation into the history and literature of whaling; it contains numerous fascinating facts about whales themselves. For example, what is the difference between a pod of whales, a school of whales, and a herd of whales? (Answer: It's all down to numbers.)

Highly recommended.

  • Buy from or (for which I receive a small commission)
  • …or, better still, buy or order a copy from your local, tax-paying independent bookshop, who could really do with the help.
Writer and photographer Richard Carter, FCD is the founder of the Friends of Charles Darwin. He lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
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