Books: Whole Sea Catalogue

CHILDREN OF THE LIGHT by EVERETT S.ALLEN 302 pages. Little, Brown. $10.

Between the cozy certitudes of 19th century New England and the savage, uncharted Arctic Ocean, there was a compelling connection. It was the bowhead whale. A fat, amiable, elegant creature who wound and warbled (in middle C) through the ice pack on his northward journey each spring, Baleana mysticetus grew up to 75 ft. long, weighed about a ton a foot, and returned fortunes to the Quaker entrepreneurs of New Bedford who sold his blubber and bones to make candles and corsets.

The...

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