Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Under the Waves Diving in Deep Waters   By: (1825-1894)

Book cover

First Page:

Under the Waves; or, Diving in Deep Waters, by R.M.Ballantyne.

This was a very difficult book to obtain. There was a copy in the British Library, and another one in a Library in Dartmouth, Devon. For several years I tried at least weekly to find a copy via Abebooks or eBay, with no success. The copy belonging to the Ballantyne family had disappeared, not to put too fine a point on it. Eventually a kind family in Canada offered to scan the pages of their copy, and send the images to me, and this is the result.

Ballantyne did indeed try out some diving equipment, so as to obtain a first hand feel for diving. It is related that something went wrong, too much air was sent down, and he surfaced rapidly upside down. A similar episode is related in the book.

Ballantyne's style often gives rise to two or even three stories continuing simultaneously, and here we have the adventures of one Rooney Machowl, an Irishman who decides to move from his ship's carpenter trade to that of diving. In fact divers should always have another trade, or they wouldn't be much use under the water. In addition there is the aspiration of Edgar Berrington to win the hand of a fair young lady, there are the events happening to the young lady's father, and then again the events happening to the young lady's companion. So it is all fairly convoluted. But you'll certainly learn a lot about diving, as the art stood in 1876. It is rather strange that Ballantyne, having written this book, which ran to several printings, did not much mention diving in any other of his books.



This tale makes no claim to the character of an exhaustive illustration of all that belongs to the art of diving. It merely deals with the most important points, and some of the most interesting incidents connected therewith. In writing it I have sought carefully to exhibit the true and to ignore the false or improbable.

I have to acknowledge myself indebted to the well known submarine engineers Messrs. Siebe and Gorman, and Messrs. Heinke and Davis, of London, for much valuable information; and to Messrs. Denayrouze, of Paris, for permitting me to go under water in one of their diving dresses. Also among many others to Captain John Hewat, formerly Commander in the service of the Rajah of Sarawak, for much interesting material respecting the pirates of the Eastern Seas.

R.M.B. Edinburgh, 1876.



"So, sir, it seems that you've set your heart on learning something of everything?"

The man who said this was a tall and rugged professional diver. He to whom it was said was Edgar Berrington, our hero, a strapping youth of twenty one.

"Well yes, I have set my heart upon something of that sort, Baldwin," answered the youth. "You see, I hold that an engineer ought to be practically acquainted, more or less, with everything that bears, even remotely, on his profession; therefore I have come to you for some instruction in the noble art of diving."

"You've come to the right shop, Mister Edgar," replied Baldwin, with a gratified look. "I taught you to swim when you wasn't much bigger than a marlinespike, an' to make boats a'most before you could handle a clasp knife without cuttin' your fingers, an' now that you've come to man's estate nothin'll please me more than to make a diver of you. But," continued Baldwin, while a shade clouded his wrinkled and weatherbeaten visage, "I can't let you go down in the dress without leave. I'm under authority, you know, and durstn't overstep "

"Don't let that trouble you," interrupted his companion, drawing a letter from his pocket; "I had anticipated that difficulty, and wrote to your employers... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books