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Richard Henry Dana, Jr. (1815–1882)

Autor(a) de Two Years Before the Mast

21+ Works 4,809 Membros 61 Críticas 1 Favorited

About the Author

Disambiguation Notice:

(eng) Richard Henry Dana, Jr. (1815–1882)
American lawyer and author of Two Years Before the Mast, son of Richard Henry Dana, Sr. and father of Richard Henry Dana III.

Richard Henry Dana, Sr. (1787–1879)
American poet and author of The Idle Man, son of Francis Dana and father of Richard Henry Dana, Jr.

Obras por Richard Henry Dana, Jr.

Associated Works

Great Stories of the Sea & Ships (1940) — Contribuidor — 173 exemplares
Rough Water: Stories of Survival from the Sea (1998) — Contribuidor — 88 exemplares
The Book of the Sea (1954) — Contribuidor — 36 exemplares
American Literature: The Makers and the Making (In Two Volumes) (1973) — Contribuidor, algumas edições25 exemplares
High Seas: Stories of Battle and Adventure From the Age of Sail (2002) — Contribuidor — 21 exemplares
Travelers Tales of Old Cuba (2002) — Contribuidor — 16 exemplares
The Boy's Book of the Sea (1954) — Contribuidor — 16 exemplares
The Saturday Evening Post Book of the Sea and Ships (1978) — Contribuidor — 16 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
Localização do túmulo
Protestant Cemetery, Rome, Italy
Local de nascimento
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Local de falecimento
Rome, Italy
Harvard University (BA|1837)
Harvard Law School (LL.B|1840)
Dana, Richard Henry, Sr. (father)
Dana, Richard Henry, III (son)
Melville, Herman (friend)
Longfellow, Edith (daughter-in-law)
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
Massachusetts State Bar (1840)
Prémios e menções honrosas
Bowdoin Prize (1837)
Nota de desambiguação
Richard Henry Dana, Jr. (1815–1882)
American lawyer and author of Two Years Before the Mast, son of Richard Henry Dana, Sr. and father of Richard Henry Dana III.

Richard Henry Dana, Sr. (1787–1879)
American poet and author of The Idle Man, son of Francis Dana and father of Richard Henry Dana, Jr.



A very, very good book with such detail about ships and sailing and masts and jibs and what-not. Young Richard Dana find that his life has left him with no choice but to enlist in the Merchant Marines. I've heard that term and never really understood what it meant until now. The ship to which he signed sailed cattle hides from California to Boston. And it sailed out of Boston in 1834, before the railroads were built.

Dana was college-educated and kept a detailed diary on which he based this book. He does not shy away from his first days with sea-sickness, to the quarters where he and his shipmates lived and slept on hammocks, to the times of watches and what was expected, to the perils they encountered bringing hides from one port of California to the other where they were stored prior to shipment. His descriptions as well of how a sailing vessel was laid out, the masts, the work of furling and unfurling sails in all kinds of weather (such as rounding Cape Horn in the Antarctic winter), keeping watch, and how sailors ate were exacting and well-written.

He also goes into great detail about how the hides were "droughed" (carried on the head) to the rowboats from the various ports to the ship, transported to port where they were again off-loaded to be stored until a certain tonnage was achieved. The tonnage was determined by the company to whom Dana and the ship were contracted for the duration of the voyage; hence the "Merchant Marines," as they were sailing from the port of Boston to ports in California, in order to provide goods (in this case, hides) for the company that owned the ship and saw to their pay.

And yes, there is a flogging on board the ship, as is an attempt to force Dana into greater time on board his old ship from his new one, leading to a life of sailing instead of a point in time worked as a sailor. The descriptions of California and its coast, when it was still a Mexican territory, are fantastic and make me a bit sad for what we have lost over the centuries with Development and Progress.

The troubling parts of this book, though, are the ethnocentrism. He refers to the inhabitants of the various coastal cities, both Mexican and Native Americans, as lazy, as half-hearted in their work (which, yes, means the same thing), and as something wholly "other" than his Yankee work ethic. He makes a distinction between the Mexicans and the Spanish, giving a bit higher recognition to the Spanish, who had colonized California originally. Strangely, though, he has good rapport with the Sandwich Islanders (modern Hawa'ii) and even helps save one from the disease that they too often caught from interaction with the White voyagers (the disease is not named but was probably not smallpox by the description).

All in all a good book and most deservedly a classic of literature.
… (mais)
1 vote
threadnsong | 55 outras críticas | Feb 5, 2023 |
I can't believe I stayed awake until 11:30 last night, reading. I've been totally blown away by Two Years Before the Mast. Somebody at work mentioned it to me a month or so ago (now I don't remember who it was, but thank you so much!) Always assumed it was "just" a sea story, but it's the history (1830s) of MY southern California.

I'm not sure what grabbed me so strongly from the first page to the last. One of my interests is narratives of 19th century scientific (which this was not) exploration, fascinated by how hard people had to work to get to places where today we just hop a truck or a plane--of course the really interesting places still are not so easy. So there was that. But I guess the real draw was the extensive look at California at the time of the decline of the missions, before the gold rush brought the whole world here. Living my whole life in San Diego, these places are the cities and beaches I know. Fascinating. I could go on and on, but I just did, didn't I?

… (mais)
1 vote
JudyGibson | 55 outras críticas | Jan 26, 2023 |
Good travel book about a voayage to California around the Horn before it belonged to the US. Good descriptions, etc.
kslade | 55 outras críticas | Dec 8, 2022 |
If you love the sea, tall ships, or have a desire to learn more about them then this is the book for you. The introduction, first few chapters, and concluding chapter are by far the best read. The rest is merely a journal of a seaman on a merchantman in the 1800‘s. The rigorous monotony of his daily life and the hardships he was forced to endure.

Indeed Dana‘s concluding chapter tells us this, hoping to dissuade the young men of his age from their perceived romantic notions of a life at sea. The concluding chapter also defines how that life at sea can be made better, and in truth, how everyone‘s life can be made better through a relationship with God. Not a book for everyone, but a good book for those of us who love the sea… (mais)
282Mikado | 55 outras críticas | Apr 13, 2022 |



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