Two years before the mast is a memoir by the american author richard henry dana jr published in 1840 having been written after a two year sea voyage from boston to california on a merchant ship starting in 1834 a film adaptation under the same name was released in 1946. A two year coast to coast voyage to california from boston massachusetts was undertaken by american richard henry dana jr from 1834 to 1836 the journey took place aboarda merchant ship and was chronicled in a diary dana kept after the trek in 1940 the diary was released as the memoir titled two years before the mast dana was an undergraduate student at harvard college when he contracted the measles the disease affected his vision and believing it would help the condition he became . Last updated on may 6 2015 by enotes editorial word count 1160 in august 1834 richard henry dana jr ships aboard the brig pilgrim out of boston for a voyage to california as an ordinary. Two years before the mast is richard henry dana jrs memoir of a harvard undergraduate becoming a sailor while collecting hides up and down the california coast and returning home in the treacherous dead of winter richer for the experience. About two years before the mast tracing an awe inspiring oceanic route from boston around cape horn to the california coast two years before the mast is both a riveting story of adventure and the most eloquent insightful account we have of life at sea in the early nineteenth century richard henry dana is only nineteen when he abandons the patrician world of boston and harvard for an arduous voyage among real sailors amid genuine danger the result is an astonishing read replete with
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