The Natural History of the Sperm Whale (1839)
Written by Thomas Beale, a trained surgeon who sailed on a British whale ship to the south seas in the 1830s, Beale became fascinated by sperm whales. He published The Natural History of the Sperm Whale in 1839. His was the first book to accurately write about the extraordinary sperm whale. In fact, when it came time for Herman Melville to write his tome called Moby Dick, Melville lifted numerous passages from The Natural History of the Sperm Whale almost verbatim.