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The Master Mariner

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  86 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
This is Nicholas Monsarrat's final masterpiece, an epic tale of the sea and seafaring from the sixteenth century to near the end of the twentieth.Told from the point of view of Mathew Lawe, a young Devon sailor who is cursed after a spectacular act of cowardice to wander 'the wild waters till all the seas run dry', it is historical fiction but beset by real events. Monsarr ...more
Hardcover, 524 pages
Published September 14th 1978 by Weidenfeld Nicolson Illustrated
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Several years ago, I came across this novel by accident, thumbed through a few pages, and curiosity piqued, began to read it. The story is centered around Matthew Lawe, a young English seaman who, as part of the convoy of ships tasked with tackling the Spanish Armada, flees his battle station while under fire. Consequently, for forsaking his comrades, Matthew is punished to live unto perpetuity until the seas run dry. Thus, Matthew passes through the succeeding centuries as a seaman in a variety ...more
Jul 26, 2013 Eric rated it really liked it
The book is really a series of short stories involving our same "cursed" character. I learned things I never knew about the more famous of history's mariners. Hudson's crew mutinied and set Henry adrift. I had know about Nelson's wife never receiving any benefits after Nelson's demise, but I did not know about Nelson's affair. Over all an interesting read.
Garry Duncan
May 22, 2015 Garry Duncan rated it really liked it
I have been a long time fan if Monserrat, i had this novel on my "to Read" list for too long. I finally got around to reading it over the last month and found it an enthralling history of famous naval characters and events. Monserrat's research brings an authenticity each episode which makes the book thoroughly satisfying.
Brad Smith
Sep 25, 2013 Brad Smith rated it it was amazing
I'd have given it 6 stars if it were finished. A brilliant and enlightening tale across centuries of a sailors life, loved it
Deborah Thompson
Apr 21, 2013 Deborah Thompson rated it it was amazing
it was a very long time ago but the memory of this book has remained
Noreen Woods
Oct 10, 2012 Noreen Woods rated it really liked it
Was a hard slog sometimes but overall a very good book.
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Born on Rodney Street in Liverpool, Monsarrat was educated at Winchester and Trinity College, Cambridge. He intended to practise law. The law failed to inspire him, however, and he turned instead to writing, moving to London and supporting himself as a freelance writer for newspapers while writing four novels and a play in the space of five years (1934–1939). He later commented in his autobiograph ...more
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