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Afloat and Ashore A Sea Tale   By: (1789-1851)

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Afloat and Ashore A Sea Tale by James Fenimore Cooper is a compelling maritime adventure set in the early 19th century. The novel follows the experiences of Miles Wallingford, a young sailor who embarks on a journey across the Atlantic Ocean, facing numerous perils and encountering a myriad of characters along the way.

Cooper’s descriptive prowess shines through the pages, transporting readers to the treacherous world of sailing. The vivid portrayal of nautical life, from the intricacies of ship navigation to the harsh living conditions on board, adds a captivating layer to the narrative. The author’s extensive knowledge and research on sailing techniques and maritime culture are evident, lending an authentic touch to the story.

What sets this novel apart is its exploration of the conflict between duty and personal desire. As Miles Wallingford grapples with the allure of love and adventure, he must also confront his obligations to family and society. Cooper masterfully weaves these themes into the fabric of the plot, creating a compelling dilemma that keeps readers engaged till the very end.

The characters in Afloat and Ashore are well-drawn and multi-dimensional, allowing readers to form strong connections with them. Miles Wallingford evolves throughout the story, transitioning from a naive and impulsive young man to a wiser, more mature individual. The supporting characters, such as his loyal friend, the enigmatic seaman, and the charming but elusive love interest, all contribute to the richness of the narrative.

Nevertheless, the novel does have its drawbacks. At times, the plot becomes somewhat repetitive, as the protagonist faces similar challenges and makes similar choices multiple times. Additionally, the pacing may feel slow to some readers, particularly during extended scenes of sailing and technical discussions. However, for those who appreciate the intricacies of maritime adventures, these elements might prove to be assets rather than flaws.

Overall, Afloat and Ashore A Sea Tale is a captivating tale of adventure, romance, and self-discovery. James Fenimore Cooper’s masterful storytelling and impeccable attention to detail make this novel a must-read for fans of historical fiction and maritime adventures. Despite some minor pacing issues, the richly depicted characters and the exploration of timeless themes make it a truly remarkable piece of literature.

First Page:





"Home keeping youth have ever homely wits." Two Gentlemen of Verona


The writer has published so much truth which the world has insisted was fiction, and so much fiction which has been received as truth, that, in the present instance, he is resolved to say nothing on the subject. Each of his readers is at liberty to believe just as much, or as little, of the matter here laid before him, or her, as may suit his, or her notions, prejudices, knowledge of the world, or ignorance. If anybody is disposed to swear he knows precisely where Clawbonny is, that he was well acquainted with old Mr. Hardinge, nay, has often heard him preach let him make his affidavit, in welcome. Should he get a little wide of the mark, it will not be the first document of that nature, which has possessed the same weakness.

It is possible that certain captious persons may be disposed to inquire into the cui bono? of such a book. The answer is this. Everything which can convey to the human mind distinct and accurate impressions of events, social facts, professional peculiarities, or past history, whether of the higher or more familiar character, is of use. All that is necessary is, that the pictures should be true to nature, if not absolutely drawn from living sitters... Continue reading book >>

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