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Publisher's Summary

Two Years Before the Mast is an 1840 memoir by the author Richard Henry Dana. A Harvard graduate, he spent the years 1834 to 1836 as a sailor on a merchant ship on a voyage from Boston to California. The journey took them past Cape Horn on the Tierra del Fuego archipelago where the Pacific and Atlantic oceans meet.

Dana provides detailed descriptions of ship life and the technical aspects of sailing. A chapter on California and its inhabitants offers valuable historical insights on the state which was then a foreign land.

Public Domain (P)2019 Museum Audiobooks

What listeners say about Two Years Before the Mast: A Personal Narrative of Life at Sea

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Narrator killed it for me

I seriously questioned whether the narrator was a robot sometimes. I was really expecting to enjoy this and couldn't bear to listen to more than the first few chapters.

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2yrs b4 mast

seemed a little too fast and needing pauses, inflection, changes of pace, modulation otherwisr, enjoyable

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reality beats fiction

I loved this book. is a real and accurate glimpse into an other time and life. It has started me looking for more historical journals to read

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  • David Newsham
  • 12-29-21

Excellent Story poor Narration

I have read this book and love it. I was, however disappointed with the narration to start with.

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  • Captain T. Storeboe
  • 09-26-21

Great depiction of a forgotten time

This story is captivating and very fascinating. It shares the thought of a common sailor as the author mentions, rarely described. It goes into great details of hardship and life aboard the old square riggers in their last few years of competitive service. The timescale in the book is very clear and it is humbling to read as the years go by the people vanish along with the trade. Only one critique is the narrator does not know how to pronounce "mizen".