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James Braithwaite, the Supercargo The Story of his Adventures Ashore and Afloat   By: (1814-1880)

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James Braithwaite, the Supercargo: The Story of his Adventures Ashore and Afloat by William Henry Giles Kingston is a thrilling and captivating tale of adventure, exploration, and self-discovery. Set against the backdrop of the high seas during the era of maritime exploration, this book takes readers on an enthralling journey alongside the eponymous protagonist, James Braithwaite.

The story begins with James, an intelligent and resourceful young man, embarking on a life at sea as a supercargo. His role involves overseeing the cargo and ensuring its safe delivery to various destinations around the world. From the very start, James proves himself to be an extraordinary character, displaying exceptional knowledge and skills that far surpass his age and experience.

Throughout the book, readers are taken on a series of daring sea voyages that are fraught with danger and excitement. Kingston brilliantly captures the perilous nature of life at sea during this time, vividly describing storms, shipwrecks, and encounters with pirates. These action-packed scenes, combined with Kingston's meticulous attention to detail, immerse the readers into the heart of the adventure, making it impossible to put the book down.

What truly sets this book apart is the character development of James Braithwaite. As he navigates through treacherous waters and faces countless challenges, he not only proves himself as a competent supercargo but also undergoes a profound personal transformation. His encounters with different cultures, both on land and at sea, broaden his horizons and teach him invaluable lessons about life, trust, and friendship. It is through these experiences that James evolves from a young and naive sailor into a wise and worldly individual.

Another strength of the novel lies in Kingston's ability to seamlessly weave historical facts and details into the narrative. Through his extensive research, he creates an authentic and believable depiction of life in the 19th century maritime world. From the descriptions of the ship's daily routines to the intricacies of international trade, Kingston provides readers with a fascinating insight into a bygone era.

While the book primarily focuses on James Braithwaite's adventures, it also delves into themes of morality, loyalty, and the pursuit of dreams. These deeper explorations add depth and resonance to the story, making it more than just a thrilling adventure novel.

In conclusion, James Braithwaite, the Supercargo: The Story of his Adventures Ashore and Afloat is a riveting novel that transports readers to a time of grand maritime voyages and courageous individuals. William Henry Giles Kingston's writing is both engaging and informative, effortlessly combining action-packed scenes with profound character development. Whether you are a fan of historical fiction, adventure, or simply enjoy a well-written novel, this book is sure to captivate and entertain.

First Page:

James Braithwaite, the Supercargo; The Story of his Adventures Ashore and Afloat, by W.H.G. Kingston.

This is a typical Kingston book, very skilfully written, with lots of difficult situations very well described. But what is worth remembering is that it is probably the last book Kingston ever wrote, for he had already been diagnosed with a rapid and terminal illness, which I suppose to have been cancer. Yet, despite the position that redoubtable author found himself in, he still gave us one of his very best well written adventure stories.

A supercargo is a position in the ship's crew analogous to the ship's clerk. His work consists of knowing exactly where every item of the cargo is stowed, so that it can be put in the right place for it to be most conveniently taken out on its arrival at its destination.

Do read it and judge for yourself. You will find it worth the short seven hours it takes to read aloud.




"What's the name of the craft you want to get aboard, sir?" asked old Bob, the one legged boatman, whose wherry I had hired to carry me out to Spithead... Continue reading book >>

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