This is an abridged and edited publication of a book originally published in 1855. The author went to sea in 1844 as a boy seaman in the US Navy.
NAME: Man-of-War Life, Seafarers’ Voices
CLASSIFICATION: Book Reviews
AUTHOR: Charles Nordhoff
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
GENRE: Non Fiction
DESCRIPTION: This is an abridged and edited publication of a book originally published in 1855. The author went to sea in 1844 as a boy seaman in the US Navy.
The series of pocket books provides a very affordable and personal view from seafarers who sailed in an age long past and very different in many ways fromt eh experiences of modern seafarers. This book in the series is unique in several respects, not least that the author was better educated than his shipmates and able to provide a written account that is vibrant and colourful. Serving on the 74-gun ship on the line, during what was to be a three year round the world voyage, there was no shortage of fascinating anecdotes. The USS Columbus was also engaged on an early attempt at imperial expansion by the US across the Pacific, including the gunboat diplomacy that attempted to force Japan the country to American trade, starting a process that was eventually to lead to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941
In preparing the tale for a modern readership, the editor has provided perspective that draws out information that might not be understood otherwise today.
This is an extraordinary and valuable book that provides an insight into the life under sail on a line-of-battle ship in the US Navy, the author has provided a lively and engaging tale that provides a view of a little-covered period through the eyes of a boy in what was a hard life before the steel steam-powered warship.