MS. Found in a Bottle

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Edgar Allan Poe (1809—1849) American short-story writer, poet, and critic


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Story by Poe, published in 1833 and reprinted in Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque (1840).

The narrator takes passage on a ship bound from Batavia to the Sunda Islands. During a terrible storm, the entire crew is swept overboard, except for this passenger and a Swedish sailor. The storm continues for several days, when suddenly a huge ship under full sail bears down on them, the narrator alone being saved by being hurled upon the rigging of the strange craft. This is the beginning of his long stay aboard the ship, whose aspect is unlike anything he has known, and whose ghostly sailors neither see nor speak to him. He writes a journal of his experiences, intending to seal it in a bottle and throw it into the sea “at the last moment.” It concludes with a description of a fearful driving current and final whirlpool in which the ship is going down.

Subjects: Literature.

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