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Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic

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By: (1823-1911)

The sea has always been, by the mystery of its horizon, the fury of its storms, and the variableness of the atmosphere above it, the foreordained land of romance. In all ages and with all sea-going races there has always been something especially fascinating about an island amid the ocean. It's very existence has for all explorers an air of magic. The order of the tales in the present work follows roughly the order of development, giving first the legends which kept near the European shore, and then those which, like St. Brandan's or Antillia, were assigned to the open sea or, like Norumbega or the Isle of Demons, to the very coast of America. Every tale in this book bears reference to some actual legend, followed more or less closely, and the authorities for each will be found carefully given in the appendix for such readers as may care to follow the subject further.

First Page:

TALES OF THE ENCHANTED ISLANDS OF THE ATLANTIC

BY

THOMAS WENTWORTH HIGGINSON

TO

General Sir George Wentworth Higginson, K. C. B.

Gyldernscroft, Marlow, England

THIS BOOK IS INSCRIBED, IN TOKEN OF KINDRED AND OF OLD FAMILY FRIENDSHIPS, CORDIALLY PRESERVED INTO THE PRESENT GENERATION

THESE LEGENDS UNITE THE TWO SIDES OF THE ATLANTIC AND FORM A PART OF THE COMMON HERITAGE OF THE ENGLISH SPEAKING RACE

Preface

Hawthorne in his Wonder Book has described the beautiful Greek myths and traditions, but no one has yet made similar use of the wondrous tales that gathered for more than a thousand years about the islands of the Atlantic deep. Although they are a part of the mythical period of American history, these hazy legends were altogether disdained by the earlier historians; indeed, George Bancroft made it a matter of actual pride that the beginning of the American annals was bare and literal. But in truth no national history has been less prosaic as to its earlier traditions, because every visitor had to cross the sea to reach it, and the sea has always been, by the mystery of its horizon, the fury of its storms, and the variableness of the atmosphere above it, the foreordained land of romance... Continue reading book >>


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