14th out of 125 books — 58 voters
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The Master Mariner
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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Sea Adventures and Disasters
Great Stories: Sailors, Ships & Sea Adventures (fiction only)
49th out of 84 books — 97 voters
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Mar 19, 2012 KOMET rated it it was amazing
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
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.
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.
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 ...moreMore about Nicholas Monsarrat...