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Two Years before the Mast
     

Two Years before the Mast

3.5 165
by Jr., Ric Dana Richard Henry
 

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In August 1834, Richard Henry Dana, Jr., shipped aboard the brig Pilgrim out of Boston for a voyage to California. Dana tells the tale of a young, naïve, religiously conservative Boston aristocrat who thrusts himself into a trial amidst crude, uneducated, generally amoral sailors. It is the exciting, intelligent, sensitive story of a young man's

Overview

In August 1834, Richard Henry Dana, Jr., shipped aboard the brig Pilgrim out of Boston for a voyage to California. Dana tells the tale of a young, naïve, religiously conservative Boston aristocrat who thrusts himself into a trial amidst crude, uneducated, generally amoral sailors. It is the exciting, intelligent, sensitive story of a young man's transition to maturity, with a vivid description of his struggle with his shipmates, the elements and with himself. The author wrote this realistic account of the life of a common sailor to make the public aware of the hardships and injustices to which American sailors were subjected. He gives an accurate account of life at sea and a colorful portrait of life in California in the early nineteenth century.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781412813105
Publisher:
Transaction Large Print
Publication date:
12/31/2009
Edition description:
Large Print
Pages:
514
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.06(d)

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Two Years Before The Mast 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 165 reviews.
oldsmores More than 1 year ago
Dana writes an eminently readable first-person account of his experiences as a common sailor on a couple of commercial sailing vessels in the mid 19th century. The title references the convention that common sailors were housed in the forecastle of the ship (before the mast), while officers stayed aft. His account of the day-to-day life of a sailor, two crossings of Cape Horn, and the coast of pre-Gold Rush California are fascinating. If you want to gain a sense of the reality behind the romance of large sailing vessels, this is a must-read. His observations of his fellow sailors, officers, and the culture of California give real insight into life in the 1800's. Dana's final chapter is a thoughtful essay on the hardships of the sailor's life, with some surprising conclusions on what should and should not be done to improve their lot.
Winterlight00 More than 1 year ago
Forget Moby Dick, this is a real story of the sea! It has a remarkably contemparary feel to it and is told in a candid first person that never lags. Melvilles awful fantasy we all were forced to read blatantly rips off this fun, intimate and detailed American masterpiece. Anyone fascinated by the days of tall ships will love this intimate look behind the veil of life at sea.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I've ever read. It is well written and it's history is amazing. If you're interested in the old "square rigger" sailing days and what it was like on one of these as crew this book will not let you down. It is also a great history book of California. Couldn't put it down.
seniorchief More than 1 year ago
This explains the old way to sail ships at sea. Having been in the U S Navy 22 years, I loved it and all the nautical terms being used. A sailors life was much different in the 1800's than it is today because of this book. If your not inerested in being at sea, then you'll find this book very boring. If you love the sea as I do, you'll enjoy it very much> I know I did.
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