Ú Two Years Before the Mast â Download by ☆ Richard Henry Dana Jr. This book is, I suppose, something of a family favorite It was a favorite of my father s and became one of mine as well R H Dana was a student at Harvard in the 1830s who, following an illness which compromised his eyesight and forced an extended leave from study, signed on as a rank and file seaman aboard a merchant vessel bound to California via the arduous passage around Cape Horn The book is delightful both as a portrait of life at sea in the days of sail and as a sketch of California as it was before the Gold Rush of 1849 I traveled to California for the first time shortly after reading this book, and Dana s account greatly enriched the experience One of the high points of that trip was a visit to the mission of Santa Barbara and its beautiful old fountain, from which Dana had watered his own horse during an excursion ashore some 160 years prior.
Mr Richard Dana Jr or Dana as his shipmates called him, is a man I would like to know Based on his autobiographicalTwo Years Before the Mast, a recounting of his 1834 1836, seagoing adventures aboard the Pilgrim outbound and Alert return , Mr Dana was a popular, hard working, man s man able to tell a tale While attending Harvard, he contracted measles weakening his eyesight, choosing to become an ordinary seaman on a two year voyage to California then the farthest hinterlands for his recovery This wasn t the only odd well to me anyway medicinal prescription used back then either How does a teaspoon of raw potatoes and onions beaten to pulp, administered every hour and held in one s mouth as long as possible, strike you as a cure for scurvy, for a patient in the very last stages When you Popular Book, Two Years Before the Mast By Richard Henry Dana Jr This Is Very Good And Becomes The Main Topic To Read, The Readers Are Very Takjup And Always Take Inspiration From The Contents Of The Book Two Years Before the Mast, Essay By Richard Henry Dana Jr.
Is Now On Our Website And You Can Download It By Register What Are You Waiting For Please read And Make A Refission For You this book is absolutely essential for anyone who has any desire of stepping off the quarterdeck of his historical fiction O Brien novels and heading down to the focs l to hear about sailing traditional ships from the men who were actually sweating lines, heave yo ho ing, and climbing the rigging to furl the royals before a gale dana passes the equator four times over the two years that he is a merchant mariner sailing to, the then mexican owned california, to load his ship with hides bound for boston s leather factories the narrative style is straight forward and matter of fact dana hardly lets his bias sit between the reader and the tale filled with technical sail handling language the amateur mariner might choose to read up on square sail theory before reading or merely depend upon his imagination dana provides a vivid description of pre U.
S california and the hide trade th Two Years Before the Mast is a captivating account of Richard Henry Dana, Jr s service as a common sailor on a voyage from Boston to the California coast in the early 1830s The long expositions on the technical aspects of navigation under canvas may not be of interest to those without familiarity with maritime life, but his personal narrative of daily life aboard a sailing vessel and the work of the cowhide trade in early California make the book worthwhile Two Years Before the Mast is an excellent non fiction counterpart to the novels of Patrick O Brian and Captain Marryat s Mr Midshipman Easy I recommend it to those with an interest in nautical life in the days of sail.
This book made me cry multiple times, but not for the direct subject matter I think there were just a few too many references to the California coast described in enough detail that the effect was to pry out long lingering ghosts haunting the coastline of my own isle of denial his descriptions are never quite up to the par of his literary contemporaries, but the detail leaves any California lover desperately lamenting the irretrievable passage of those first rough and tumble times that modern man first began journeying to that area of the world.
Dana s description of first arriving in San Francisco made me shiver, and I still get goosebumps thinking about it The complete and utter irretrievability of that outpost wilderness fills me with something than sadness and something less than rage The book itself is a fasc This book didn t give me the thrill I was hoping for it s not exactly The Perfect Storm A True Story of Men Against the Sea Just as much time is spent on land as at sea, engaged in the hides trade, visiting with Spanish and Indian locals, riding horses, attending wedding fandangoes Dana s writing is missing some vital spark There is also so much sailing and ship equipment terminology that entire paragraphs would go by where I had to guess what was going on, since the language didn t really help me The nice sectional drawings of the hulls of the Pilgrim and Alert were helpful, showing the cabin, steerage, tween decks, and forecastle.
A few things struck me 1 Most of the sailors sewed their own clothes for the return voyage, including tarpaulins and hats The edition I read contained a photo of Dana s white duck sailor suit Ma Historically unique and surprisingly readable first person account of life at sea on a merchant vessel 1834 36, sailing from Boston, around Cape Horn and up and down the undeveloped, cowhide disgorging California coast Most versions also include an equally interesting Afterward, in which the now 40something author returns to California in 1859, post statehood and post Gold Rush Having heard the book s title referenced for years, I d always assumed it was a fictional adventure tale, but, no, it s a first person memoir Surprisingly modern in some ways in other respects, disturbingly old fashioned As far as I know, there are no other contemporary books in English with as much detail on California during the years between Mexican independence and USA statehood And, as Dana himself explains, details on merchant ships grueling and often merciless conditions during the Age of
In a way, the best thing for a writer is misfortune In that regard, Richard Henry Dana, Jr got lucky.
A young Harvard man, he signed on as a common seaman aboard the brig Pilgrim, bound for California from Boston, to help improve his health Had it been smooth sailing over benign seas under a wise and beneficent captain, with good food and a leisurely stay on California beaches, we likely would never have heard of Dana.
But, thanks to the treacherous and icy waters of Cape Horn, a power hungry captain keen on flogging his men on slight pretence, a year of hard labor hauling hides in anarchic California still part of Mexico in 1834, the year Dana sailed , and shipboard living conditions that today s Supreme Court would find cruel and unusual, Dana I read part of this in Jr HS, then all of it after I graduated from college my Shakespeare teacher 38 plays in the full year course asked me, as he read it, why so much reference to the lee scuppers For a beginning sailor like me, an easy answer those are the drains that fill because of the heel of the boat away from windward By the way, sailor s usage for going wrong, say gambling blown hard to Lee I recall how Dana records the loss of their first crewman off South America this, from a small crew, perhaps 15 As soon as they got on deck after the news, the sailor s clothes were auctioned No time for sentiment onboard, as RHD says Then I recall the great joy of their tea and molasses, or after reefing the topsail, some grog with rum The weather around Cape Horn was abysmal, with big seas and sleet and snow, but they were on their way to pick up