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Extended Audio Sample Two Years before the Mast, by Richard Henry Dana Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard Henry Dana Narrator: Bernard Mayes Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Richard Henry Dana referred to this book as “a voice from the sea.” Influencing such authors as Conrad and Melville, it has become a maritime classic that has inflicted legions of men with a passion for the sea.

Dana, a law student turned sailor for health reasons, sailed in 1834 on the brig Pilgrim for a voyage from Boston around Cape Horn to California. Dana Point was named as a result of this journey. Drawing from his journals, Two Years before the Mast gives a vivid and detailed account, shrewdly observed and beautifully described, of a common sailor’s wretched treatment at sea, and of a way of life virtually unknown at that time.

This is a breathtaking true story of adventure on the high seas.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Possesses…the romantic charm of Robinson Crusoe.”

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • “Dana’s small book is a very great book.”

    D. H. Lawrence

  • “Almost two centuries later, we are all made richer by Dana’s classic memoir, Two Years Before the Mast, which is among the finest books ever written about the immensely popular subject of adventure at sea, and is as relevant and readable today as it was then.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “[Dana’s] book about his time at sea is an American classic, vivid in its description of the sailor’s life and all its dangers and delights.”

    National Geographic Adventure Magazine, online exclusive

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ryan | 2/14/2014

    " I read this book because it is by the author that Dana Point, California is named after. It is quite an interesting account of life at sea aboard a sailing ship and those are definitely the most interesting parts. Although the accounts of early California life are interesting, his time spent laboring along the coast is almost as dull and tiring in print as it must have been in real life. Either way, once he gets back under way the story picks up again and I almost felt like I was there with him rigging the masts and all that cool sailor stuff. Ahoy! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by MaryJeanne | 2/13/2014

    " This non-fiction tale of a young student going to sea is as exciting as any novel I've ever read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Alohagirl06 | 2/11/2014

    " Great read if you are into sea adventures. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Shawn Thrasher | 2/9/2014

    " I know next to nothing about ships, boats, the sea, sailing, etc. I know that the ocean occasionally terrifies me to the point of immobility, that it's far more immense than my mind can fathom, and that I usually wouldn't pick up a book about the sea, particularly one written around 175 years ago. Two Years Before the Mast was lent to me by an elderly lady with whom I work, and while I initially, internally turned up my nose, I'm so glad I started reading it. It was such an exciting, interesting, pleasurable written. Perfectly written, almost perfectly understandable (for a 175 year old work, the language was remarkably modern save the nautical terms). Some of the scenes are adventurously terrifying and vividly realistic (the icebergs around Cape Horn, the horrible flogging). Living in Southern California, I got the extra bonus of reading about place names with which I'm really familiar, but from a historical perspective that was both unique and fascinating. A masterpiece! "

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