Two Years before the Mast: A Personal Narrative of Life at Sea (Signet Books)

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9780451514356: Two Years before the Mast: A Personal Narrative of Life at Sea (Signet Books)

Two Years Before The Mast is a wonderful, elegantly written adventure classic that is still enjoyable more than one hundred years after its original publication. This is Richard Henry Dana Jr.’s account of his life as a common seaman aboard the brig the Pilgrim which set out from Boston on August 14,1835 destined for California by way of the treacherous Cape Horn. Dana gives an engrossing, detailed account of the workings of the ship, the day-to-day routines of the deck hands, and the brutal shortcomings of inept, tyrannical officers. This “author’s addition” includes a chapter written by Dana twenty-four years after his initial voyage where he revisits some of the people, places and vessels that he had encountered on his original journey.

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From the Inside Flap:

Tracing an awe-inspiring oceanic route from Boston, around Cape Horn, to the California coast, Two Years Before the Mast is both a riveting story of adventure and the most eloquent, insightful account we have of life at sea in the early nineteenth century. Richard Henry Dana is only nineteen when he abandons the patrician world of Boston and Harvard for an arduous voyage among real sailors, amid genuine danger. The result is an astonishing read, replete with vivid descriptions of storms, whales, and the ship's mad captain, terrible hardship and magical beauty, and fascinating historical detail, including an intriguing portrait of California before the gold rush. As D. H. Lawrence proclaimed, "Dana's small book is a very great book."

From the Back Cover:

"Possesses . . . the romantic charm of Robinson Crusoe."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

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