Nathaniel Philbrick

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Nathaniel Philbrick
Nathaniel Philbrick HiRes.JPG
Nathaniel Philbrick in 2004
Born Nathaniel Philbrick
(1956-06-11) June 11, 1956 (age 58)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Occupation Novelist, Historian
Nationality American
Period 1984–present
Spouse Melissa Douthart Philbrick
Children 2

Nathaniel Philbrick (born June 11, 1956) is an American author and a member of the Philbrick literary family. He won the year 2000 National Book Award for his maritime history, In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex.[1][2][3]

Personal life[edit]

Nathaniel Philbrick was born on June 11, 1956, in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Marianne (Dennis) and Thomas Philbrick, a professor of English.[4][5] He currently lives in Nantucket, Massachusetts.[6]

Philbrick is married to Melissa Douthart Philbrick, who is Executive Director of Remain Nantucket. They have two children Jennie and Ethan. He moved to Nantucket, Massachusetts in 1986, and is a leading authority on the history of the island.[2][7][8]


Philbrick graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School[9] in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, earned his bachelor's degree in English at Brown University, and his master's degree in American literature at Duke University.[3][7]

Philbrick was Brown’s first Intercollegiate All-American sailor in 1978; that year he won the Sunfish North Americans in Barrington, Rhode Island.


Served onboard the USS Carl Vinson after graduate school, during which time he wrote/edited several sailing books, including Yaahting: A Parody (1984), for which he was the editor-in-chief; during this time he was also the primary caregiver for his two children. After moving to Nantucket in 1986, he became interested in the history of the island and wrote Away Off Shore: Nantucket Island and Its People. He was offered the opportunity to start the Egan Maritime Institute in 1995.

In 2000, he published In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. This was followed by Sea of Glory: America’s Voyage of Discovery, The U.S. Exploring Expedition, in 2003. In 2006, Philbrick published a new history of the founding of the Plymouth colony in the United States, Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War. The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn was published in May 2010. His book, Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution about Boston during the early years of the Revolution was published on April 30, 2013.


Mayflower was a finalist for both the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for History[10] and the Los Angeles Times Book Award and it won the Massachusetts Book Award for nonfiction. In the Heart of the Sea won the National Book Award for Nonfiction;[1] Revenge of the Whale won a Boston Globe Horn Book Award; Sea of Glory won the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize and the Albion-Monroe Award from the National Maritime Historical Society. Philbrick has also received the Byrne Waterman Award from the Kendall Whaling Museum, the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for distinguished service from the USS Constitution Museum, the Nathaniel Bowditch Award from the American Merchant Marine Museum, the William Bradford Award from the Pilgrim Society, the Boston History Award from the Bostonian Society, and the New England Book Award from the New England Independent Booksellers Association. Feature film rights have been optioned for both In the Heart of the Sea and Bunker Hill.

Movie adaptations[edit]

Adaptations of Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea and Mayflower are in development.[11]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "National Book Awards – 2000". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  2. ^ a b "Nathaniel Philbrick". National Book Festival author biography. US Library of Congress. Retrieved March 6, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Drew, Bernard. 100 Most Popular Nonfiction Authors: Biographical Sketches and Bibliographies. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Libraries Unlimited, 2007. ISBN 1-59158-487-6
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Nathaniel Philbrick: About". Retrieved 2011-04-19.
  7. ^ a b "Backgrounder - Nathaniel Philbrick." Smithsonian Institution Libraries. No date.. Retrieved 2009-05-26.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Behe, Regis (2007-04-25). "Behe, Regis. "Authors, Chef Highlight Drue Heinz Lecture Series." ''Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.'' April 25, 2007". Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  10. ^ "History". Past winners & finalists by category. The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  11. ^ Publishers Weekly "Book Deals: Week of September 30, 2013"
  12. ^ Publishers Weekly "Book Deals: Week of September 30, 2013"
  13. ^ Publishers Weekly "Book Deals: Week of September 30, 2013"

External links[edit]