Two Years Before the Mast

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9781492249368: Two Years Before the Mast

Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana - Brand New and Complete Authors Edition - Two Years Before the Mast is a book by the American author Richard Henry Dana, Jr., published in 1840, having been written after a two-year sea voyage starting in 1834. ‘In the winter of 1879-80 I sailed round Cape Horn in a full-rigged ship from New York to California. At the latter place I visited the scenes of ``Two Years Before the Mast.'' At the old town of San Diego I met Jack Stewart, my father's old shipmate, and as we were looking at the dreary landscape and the forlorn adobe houses and talking of California of the thirties, he burst out into an encomium of the accuracy and fidelity to details of my father's book. He said, ``I have read it again and again. It all comes back to me, everything just as it happened. The seamanship is perfect.'' And then as if to emphasize it all, with the exception that proves the rule, he detailed one slight case where he thought my father was at fault,—-a detail so slight that I now forget what it is. In reading the Log kept by the discharged mate, Amerzeen, on the return trip in the Alert, I find that every incident there recorded, from running aground at the start at San Diego Harbor, through the perilous icebergs round the Horn, the St. Elmo's fire, the scurvy of the crew and the small matters like the painting of the vessel, to the final sail up Boston Harbor, confirms my father's record. His former shipmate, the late B. G. Stimson, a distinguished citizen of Detroit, said the account of the flogging was far from an exaggeration, and Captain Faucon of the Alert also during his lifetime frequently confirmed all that came under his observation. Such truth in the author demands truth in illustration, and I have cooperated with the publishers in securing a painting of the Alert under full sail and other illustrations, both colored and in pen and ink, faithful to the text in every detail....’

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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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