Alas, I caught nothing that day, not even a minnow, and never even sighted my whale. Subsequently it was decided to milk the whale for all it was worth. The presence of this first person account indicated that there was probably another "original" version of the story that I had not yet located, but Courbet offered no specific clues about his sources so I could not follow it up.
Reaching June, I found several articles about the Gorleston whale, confirming what I had already read, but no Bartley. Never mind that the ship he chose wasn't a whaler, and that British whalers didn't fish off the Falklands in 1891.
More to Explore. I was delighted to find this, for it had to be the basis for the English translation of de Parville's account that Sir Francis Fox received from France in 1919, a copy of which I had been unable to locate.
Wasn't that something? The pain apparently crazed the whale, for it threshed about fearfully, and it was feared that the boats would be swamped and the crews drowned.
These creatures are designed to eat small prey like sea plankton, and the opening in their throat is only about as large as a basketball, so you'd never make it that far [source: A ccording to a persistent story, exactly one hundred years ago a sailor named James Bartley was swallowed by a sperm whale off the Falkland Islands.
Briefly, the account stated that in the attempt to harpoon one of these monstrous sharks this sailor fell overboard, and before he could be picked up again, the shark, feeding, turned and engulfed him.
One difference was obvious: I will state this more strongly: After relating this information, Courbet jumped as if by invitation to the exegesis of Jonah.Bible Story About Man Living In Whale Is True, Says Fox 'Historian'
I soon found this article, complete with a wonderful line drawing of Bartley inside the whale's mouth that I cannot resist reproducing here.
I was soon ensconced in a corner with a presentation copy of the Bland-Sutton and all the histories of London hospitals I could possibly want.
All this was good news, as it lent credence to this wild story that I was now starting to believe, but the best news came a bit later from the National Science Foundation. Eveleth, Rose. Wilson, a schoolmaster from South Africa who went on to become a Fellow of Queen's College, Cambridge, was also an Anglican rector who opposed evolution and deplored the growing secularization of British society.
As I have been unable to locate a copy of this version, I cannot say whether it differs at all from the tract.