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O’Hara, Robert J. 2015.
The names Ahab and Ishmael in early Massachusetts. Notes and Queries, 62(3): 417–418.

The Names Ahab and Ishmael in Early Massachusetts

Introduction—This note corrects an error in the comprehensive Explanatory Notes to Mansfield and Vincent’s scholarly centennial edition of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick (1851). In their discussion of the novel’s opening lines and the narrator’s name Ishmael, Mansfield and Vincent write, ‘There is no instance of the name [Ishmael] in the Nantucket Vital records to 1850, just as, also understandably, there is no instance of Ahab’.1 { ... }

1 Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, ed. Luther S. Mansfield and Howard P. Vincent (New York, 1952), 587.

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