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Ancient Mariner

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  10 reviews
In 1757, when twelve-year-old Samuel Hearne joined the Royal Navy as an apprentice to the famous fighting captain Samuel Hood, he was embarking on a life of high adventure. This young sailor would become the first European to reach the Arctic coast of North America, the author of a classic work of exploration literature, and the man who inspired one of the greatest poems i ...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 333 pages
Published 2003 by HarperCollins Canada
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3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  57 ratings  ·  10 reviews

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Nancy Mills
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fascinating book, about a British explorer in northern Canada who should be more famous than he is.
Samuel Hearne begins his adventures at the age of 12, when his widowed mother travels with him to Portsmouth to be enlisted as a "captain's servant" for the commander of a ship. This is not quite what it sounds; in this capacity, the "Young Gentleman" was more a "captain's protege" than a servant, and his duties included lessons, with other young fellows, from an onboard teacher; his family
This book is more of a 3.5 rating. There are lots of interesting stories and information but as someone else pointed out the author's imagined dialogue as opposed to real quotes was a bit annoying. But I could see how the author would like to suppose the dialogue would have played out.

I remember studying (and promptly forgetting about) Hearne in school. But then it was all about memorizing names, dates and treaties. Why can't they make history in school as interesting as it is in this book? It r
Apr 20, 2015 rated it liked it
I honestly did not know the name Samuel Hearne before picking up this book. It took a bit of work to actually read; I do't usually read biographies, which is essentially what this book is. I wanted to read it mostly because of the tagline "the sailor who walked to the Arctic Ocean." Hearne's actual life is engaging - full of details about life in Britain, his time in the navy, his decision to go work for HBC in Canada. I especially enjoyed the latter half of the book where it narrated the life o ...more
Elizabeth Judd Taylor
Actually a 3.5... I liked this book, but I wanted to like it more. I think the main problem I have is that I feel a little uneasy when biographers write "conversations" between people, or tell us what someone was thinking when they could not possibly know (ie that someone was thinking only of his wife when he died). I understand that in many cases an educated guess can be made, a believable dialogue invented; still, it just feels weird to me. However, the author obviously has an affection for hi ...more
Jun 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, journeys
Except for very little actual information linking Coleridge and the Ancient Mariner poem to the subject of the book, this is an interesting read. Samuel Hearne seems to have been an extraordinary and overlooked contributor to early European exploration of the North American Continent. But other than a few slight references to a poem of Colerdge's which preceded Ancient Mariner by a number of years, it's hard to make the exact connection. Read it more as a biography of Hearne than as a fan of Col ...more
Jun 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book some time ago, but it was memorable for the description of native Canadians killing other native people for the 'fun' of it.
Nov 27, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, history
Not an overall exciting novel but if you like history and reading about early expeditions of discovery then you would probably enjoy this.
Mark Crowe
More great Canadian history!
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Graham Shaw
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Jan 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good description of a forgotten explorer.
Bill Hurlbut
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Ste J
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