Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    First Edition, First Issue

    [Richard Henry Dana, Jr.]. Two Years Before the Mast. A Personal Narrative of Life at Sea. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1840.

    First edition, first issue (with dotted "i" in "in" on copyright page and unbroken running head on page 9, per BAL 4434). Twelvemo. 483 pages.

    Rebound in contemporary full calf with gilt-stamped morocco label on spine. Leather is heavily rubbed and scarred, with wear to edges and extremities. Both hinges cracked, but binding is, overall, sound. Front free endpaper shows light dampstain along top edge and has a closed tear along spine edge. Foxing throughout. Good.

    The acclaimed true story of a teenaged sailor's two-year sea voyage, begun in 1834, in which the author vividly recounted his time as a common seaman in the American merchant service. The voyage took the brig ship Pilgrim from Boston to California, by way of Cape Horn. Herman Melville, wrote in White-Jacket, "If you want the best idea of Cape Horn, get my friend Dana's unmatchable Two Years Before the Mast. But you can read, and so you must have read it. His chapters describing Cape Horn must have been written with an icicle." Dana's descriptions of California were among the first published; the area he describes as "the only romantic spot in California" is now, unsurprisingly, known as Dana Point. An American adventure classic.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2008
    16th-18th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 574

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2018 December 9 Civil War, Militaria, Arms & Armor - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    You reach a customer base that is in many ways completely unknown to the major auction houses, and your marketing to this base is as professional as one could hope for. As I continue to wind down my holdings.
    Michael Z.,
    Hawthorne, NY
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $618,265