Sylvie's Reviews > Two Years Before the Mast: A Sailor's Life at Sea

Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana Jr.
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's review
May 21, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction, classics
Read in November, 2010

This book is essential for anyone interested in California history. It paints a fascinating picture of life on the California coast before the Gold Rush, when the Spanish ruled and the state was essentially cut off from the rest of the country. While it served as an inspiration for many who would later write of life at sea, notably Melville, it presents a realistic portrait of life on board a trading ship and Dana is quite clear in his conclusion that such a life should not be romanticized.

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Quotes Sylvie Liked

Richard Henry Dana Jr.
“There is a witchery in the sea, its songs and stories, and in the mere sight of a ship, and the sailor's dress, especially to a young mind, which has done more to man navies, and fill merchantmen, than all the pressgangs of Europe.”
Richard Henry Dana Jr., Two Years Before the Mast: A Sailor's Life at Sea

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