R. M. Ballantyne - Fighting The Whales
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R M Ballantyne was a 19th century Scottish juvenile fiction writer. In 1856 Ballantyne gave up a career in business in favor of writing a series of adventure books for youth. His works included The Coral Island (1857), The World of Ice (1859), Ungava: A Tale of Eskimo Land (1857), The Dog Crusoe (1860), The Lighthouse (1865), Deep Down, a Tale of the Cornish Mines (1868), The Pirate City (1874), Erling the Bold (1869), and The Settler and the Savage (1877). Man on the Ocean. Ballantyne's rule being in every case to write as far as possible from personal knowledge of the scenes he described. The adventure in Fighting the Whales begins, "There are few things in this world that have filled me with so much astonishment as the fact that man can kill a whale! That a fish, more than sixty feet long, and thirty feet round the body; with the bulk of three hundred fat oxen rolled into one; with the strength of many hundreds of horses; able to swim at a rate that would carry it right round the world in twenty-three days; that can smash a boat to atoms with one slap of its tail, and stave in the planks of a ship with one blow of its thick skull; --that such a monster can be caught and killed by man, is most wonderful to hear of, but I can tell from experience that it is much more wonderful to see."