10 Real-Life Places That Inspired Literary Classics

Herman Melville’s Pequod (the Essex)

Melville’s Moby Dick was inspired by the story of the Essex, a whaling ship captained by George Pollard Jr. that was rammed by a sperm whale in 1820. Only a drawing from that time exists, but earlier this year, US marine archaeologists found the remains of another of Captain Pollard’s ships, the Two Brothers, which had gone down near Hawaii after hitting a coral reef. Some bad luck he’s got, that Captain Pollard.