16 Apr 2020

Nantucket in Media

Have you watched everything that Netflix has to offer? Have you read every book on the shelf? Are you off-island and missing the beauty of Nantucket? While you can’t visit the island in person right now, instead visit the island by page and screen. Check out the list below of where to find Nantucket in the media.


Moby Dick, By Herman Melville

While today Nantucket is known for its tourism, back in the day, Nantucket was known the world over as the whaling capital of the world. The most famous literary example that showcases Nantucket in its hey-day is the American classic, Moby Dick. Maybe you haven’t read the great whaling story of the white whale since it was assigned in American Lit, but you should pick it back up again and rediscover the story of this great American novel.

In the Heart of the Sea, By Nathaniel Philbrick

Once you’re done with Moby Dick, you can pick up In the Heart of the Sea by Nantucket’s very own Nathaniel Philbrick. Philbrick writes about the epic ordeal that was the whale ship, Essex. The Essex departed Nantucket in the 1800s for the South Pacific in search of whales. While hunting whales, the ship was rammed by an angry whale and sunk. The story of the Essex swept around the world, and inspired Herman Melville to put pen to paper to write the great epic, Moby Dick.



Nantucket by Ric Burns

The Nantucket Historical Association commissioned a documentary about the island of Nantucket by Ric Burns in 2011. The film showcases the history and beauty of our island expertly Emmy Award winner, Ric Burns. The video is usually shown at the Nantucket Whaling Museum, but as the museum is closed these days, you can watch the film on the NHA’s YouTube channel.

In the Heart of the Sea

Once you’ve finished the book, make some popcorn and fire up Amazon to watch the story of the whale ship Essex come to life. Starring Chris Hemsworth as Owen Chase and Benjamin Walker as Captain George Pollard, the men take off from Nantucket in search of whales and run into trouble in the South Pacific when the boat is sunk by an angry whale. Make comparisons to between the book and the movie!

Grey Lady

In 2017,  a feature film called the Grey Lady hit theaters. The film starring Eric Dane features a story about a homicide detective and family secrets getting uncovered all while taking place on Nantucket. The movie was filmed on Nantucket, so keep an eye out for familiar settings! The film is available to rent on iTunes.



Time and Tide

The Egan Maritime Institute and the Nantucket Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum has launched a joint podcast called Time and Tide. The manager of maritime education at the Egan Maritime Institute, Evan Schwanfelder, tells stories about shipwrecks that occurred near the shores of Nantucket. The first episode outlines the sinking of the three-masted schooner, the HP Kirkham. You can find the podcast here.

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