In 1848, Susan Veeder did something no woman from Nantucket had ever done before. She joined her husband on a whaling ship, on a four-and-a-half year journey, becoming the first ever "whaling wife" of Nantucket.

How do we know? She kept a diary, including watercolors she drew of the ship's ports of call.

145 years later, that diary crossed the desk of Betsy Tyler at the Nantucket Historical Association, whose curiosity, as usual, got the best of her. Tyler used the diary as a launching point. Her years of research have brought to life a thrilling, challenging, and, ultimately, tragic story of the Veeder family, in her book A Thousand Leagues of Blue.

The Nantucket Book Foundation thanks the Nantucket Historical Association (NHA), a local publisher and significant supporter of Nantucket literature, as well as a sponsor of the Nantucket Book Festival.

When you listen to her conversation here with the Nantucket Book Festival's historian-in-residence and Festival Chair Mary Bergman, you may ask yourself what you would have done if you had been in Susan Veeder's shoes. We think you'll ask it more than once.

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