Two Years Before the Mast
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Two Years Before the Mast : The Five Foot Shelf of Classics, Vol. XXIII (in 51 Volumes)

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Originally published between 1909 and 1917 under the name "Harvard Classics," this stupendous 51-volume set-a collection of the greatest writings from literature, philosophy, history, and mythology-was assembled by American academic CHARLES WILLIAM ELIOT (1834-1926), Harvard University's longest-serving president. Also known as "Dr. Eliot's Five Foot Shelf," it represented Eliot's belief that a basic liberal education could be gleaned by reading from an anthology of works that could fit on five feet of bookshelf. Volume XXIII features the classic memoir of life on the high seas, Two Years Before the Mast, by American lawyer and activist RICHARD HENRY DANA JR. (1815-1882). No adventure tale, this is an expose of how poorly enlisted sailors were treated, which Dana learned firsthand on a two-year 1830s voyage from Boston around Cape Horn to California. First published in 1846, this volume also includes an appendix to the 1869 edition, "Twenty-Four Years After," in which Dana returns to California. Indeed, this work is important not only for its treatment of naval life but for its rare depiction of early California, both before and after the Gold Rush.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 430 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 29mm | 680g
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 1616401508
  • 9781616401504

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11,425 ratings
3.98 out of 5 stars
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4 35% (4,038)
3 23% (2,574)
2 5% (529)
1 2% (220)
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