Richard Henry Dana

Easton Press Richard Henry Dana books

Two Years Before Mast: A Personal Narrative of Life at Sea - The Collector's Library of Famous Editions - 1969

Franklin Library Richard Henry Dana books

Two Years Before the Mast - 100 Greatest Masterpieces of American Literature - 1977
Two Years Before the Mast - World's Best Loved Books - 1984

Richard Henry Dana biography

Richard Henry Dana (1815-1882) was an American author, and lawyer who was born in Cambridge Massachusetts. His father was the poet Richard Henry Dana. As a boy he attended a school run by American author Ralph Waldo Emerson. Richard Henry Dana later attended Harvard, until problems with his eyesight caused him to abandon his education. Upon leaving school he found a job working on a sailing ship which took him on a voyage around the infamous Cape Horn from Massachusetts to California. Upon his return to Massachusetts, he returned to school and later entered into law practice in Massachusetts. His experience on the Cape Horn adventure is told in his famous book Two Years Before Mast which was published in 1840. The success of Two Years Before Mast resulted in new legislation to improve the working and living conditions of men at sea. His next book The Seaman's Friend was published in 1841 as a guide for men at sea. Among the other books by Richard Henry Dana are:
To Cuba and Back - 1859
Journal of a voyage around the World - 1860
The Journal - 1868
Twenty Four Years After (a memoir of Two Years Before Mast) - 1869

His unique experiences and Law degree resulted in him becoming a figure of authority on maritime law. His support for the newly created Republican Party and candidate Abraham Lincoln for President earned him an appointment as U.S. attorney in Massachusetts in 1861. Following accusations of plagiarism in a law article he was not confirmed in his appointment in 1876 as United States Minister to England. In the later part of his life Richard Henry Dana was an active member of the Massachusetts legislature, and continued to practice law. Richard Henry Dana fell ill with influenza 1882, and subsequently passed away from the illness.


Two Years Before the Mast - A Sailor's Life at Sea

Two Years Before the Mast is a book by the American author Richard Henry Dana, Jr. written after a two-year sea voyage starting in 1834.

While at Harvard College, Dana had an attack of the measles, which affected his vision. Thinking it might help his sight, Dana, rather than going on a Grand Tour as most of his fellow classmates traditionally did (and unable to afford it anyway) and being something of a non-conformist, left Harvard to enlist as a common sailor on a voyage around Cape Horn on the brig Pilgrim. He returned to Massachusetts two years later aboard the Alert (which left California sooner than the Pilgrim).

He kept a diary throughout the voyage, and after returning he wrote a recognized American classic, Two Years Before the Mast, published in 1840, the same year of his admission to the bar.

In 1834, nineteen-year-old Richard Henry Dana left Harvard University to enlist as a deckhand on a brig sailing from Boston to the California coast. For the next two years, he recorded the terrifying storms, awe-inspiring beauty, and dreadful hardships of the journey in a diary he would later expand into this riveting memoir of “the life of a common sailor at sea as it really is.”

Dana spares no detail in portraying the wretched conditions he endured and the cruelty of the ship’s captain, but he also paints vivid, unforgettable pictures of natural wonders such as icebergs and schools of migrating whales. His descriptions of the missions and presidios of pre–Gold Rush California captured the imagination of the country when the book was first published in 1840, and they serve as valuable historical documentation to this day.

An instant classic and inspiration for contemporaries such as Herman Melville, Two Years Before the Mast is one of the most remarkable and influential adventure stories in American literature.

In 1834, a young Harvard man signed on as a common seaman for a perilous voyage around Cape Horn to California. During the next two years he recorded the joys and hardships of a sailor's life in a daily journal. The enormously successful result is both a protest against brutal working conditions and a powerful portrayal of the testing of man's courage and endurance.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your best book review and recommendation

Best books in order by author list:

A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P    Q    R    S    T    U    V    W    X    Y    Z

Privacy Policy        |        Terms and Disclosure        |        Contact        |        About        |        Best Book Categories        |        Framed Tributes

© 2002 - 2024 Leather Bound Treasure