The Sea Shall Embrace Them: The Tragic Story of the Steamship Arctic

David W. Shaw (Author)


The 1854 collision at sea between the American ship Arctic and the Vesta, a much smaller French steamship, set in motion one of the most harrowing events in maritime history. David W. Shaw has based this fascinating account on the firsthand testimony of the few who survived the wreck, including the Arctic's heroic captain, James C. Luce, who was forced to fight his mutinous crew as they took the lifeboats and left hundreds of passengers to suffer a cruel and painful death. Not only did 400 people -- including Luce's own frail son -- die by daybreak, but the wreck also ended the domination of the seas by the American maritime fleet for the rest of the nineteenth century.
Utterly compelling, The Sea Shall Embrace Them is a stirring slice of heretofore little-known American history. Beautifully written, it puts the reader on deck as a ship full of men, women, and children do battle both with a mighty ocean and with their own baser instincts

Product Details

Free Press
Publish Date
May 06, 2003
5.5 X 0.7 X 8.34 inches | 0.54 pounds
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About the Author

David W. Shaw is the author of Daring the Sea and Inland Passage. An expert sailor in his own right, Shaw also writes for Offshore magazine, Sail, Cruising World, and Lakeland Boating. He lives in New Jersey and sails in Maine.


Walter Lord Author of A Night to Remember A riveting story told by a superb writer.
Charles Pellegrino Coauthor with James Cameron of Ghosts of the Titanic A stunning account, based on logical conclusions and meticulous research.
Duncan C. Spencer The Washington Post A straightforward cautionary tale, clearly told....There is restraint and judgment here in the telling.
Publishers Weekly Spellbinding, visceral, and thoroughly investigated.
People Magazine Gripping....Shaw's true achievement is bringing to life the long-lost people aboard the Arctic.