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.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2008
    16th-18th Thursday-Saturday
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