A Whaler at Twilight: A True Account of Whaling and Redemption in the South Pacific


Nestled at the bottom of an old leather trunk for well over a century lay a forgotten manuscript—a long-lost story the author's great-great-grandson has now brought to life. At the heart of A Whaler at Twilight is the true account of an American whaler who embarked on a harrowing adventure in the South Pacific during the mid-nineteenth century in search of absolution and redemption. After the deaths of his parents, young Robert Armstrong lived with a successful uncle—a well-respected Methodist shopkeeper in bustling 1840s Baltimore—and attended the nation’s first dental school. But Armstrong threw his future away, drinking himself into oblivion. Devoured by guilt and shame, in December 1849 he sold his dental instruments, his watch, and all other possessions and signed on for a whaling voyage departing from New Bedford.

Decades later, Armstrong wrote an autobiographical account based on his travel logs, chronicling his thrilling, gritty experiences during his ten years overseas. His memoirs describe his encounters with other whalers, beachcombers, Peruvian villagers, Pacific Islanders, Maori warriors in New Zealand, cannibals on Fiji, and the impacts of American expansionism. He also recounted his struggles with drink, his quest for God, and his own redemption.

Armstrong’s gripping personal account is bookended by thoroughly researched contextual background compiled by Alexander Brash, a noted professional conservationist. Brash fills out Armstrong’s intimate and timeless tale by shedding further light on whaling and its impacts, his ancestor’s religious milieu, and the importance of marine conservation today. A Whaler at Twilight is a fascinating dive into both human morality and American history.

By Alexander R. Brash and Robert W. Armstrong

Hardcover: 352 pages

Language: English

6.44 x 0.97 x 9.02 inches

ISBN: 9781493074761

At this time, orders shipped within the United States are shipped using USPS or UPS. Tracking information will be provided via email.

International shipping is offered on case-by-case basis. Please email us at contactus@pem.org to inquire.

PEM Shop is not responsible for lost or stolen merchandise.

For our local customers, we are pleased to offer an In Store Pickup option! How it works:

  1. Shop online at shop.pem.org

  2. At checkout, select Curbside Pickup as your shipping method. Place your order.

  3. Once we have prepared your order, you will receive an email that your order is ready for pickup.

  4. Follow the pickup instructions provided in your email. Arrive at our Store location at 161 Essex Street.

  5. Orders not picked up within two weeks of order date will be canceled and refunded.

Please Note: Please allow 2-3 days from purchase date for processing. In Store Pickup is available Thursday through Monday 10 am–5 pm.

We are pleased to accept returns within 30 days of the purchase date. All returned items must be in their original condition and packaging.

To begin your return process, please email us at: contactus@pem.org

Please note: Sale, clearance and personal use items, such as face masks, cannot be returned or exchanged for store credit.


You may also like

Recently viewed