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The Mirror of the Sea

The Mirror of the Sea by Joseph Conrad
By: (1857-1924)

The Mirror of the Sea is a collection of autobiographical essays first published in various magazines 1904-6. Conrad early in his life earned his bread as a Master Mariner in sailing ships. In his Author’s Note to this work, Conrad states,”Beyond the line of the sea horizon the world for me did not exist….Within these pages I make a full confession not of my sins but of my emotions. It is the best tribute my piety can offer to the ultimate shapers of my character, convictions, and, in a sense, destiny—to the imperishable sea, to the ships that are no more, and to the simple men who have had their day.”

First Page:

Transcribed by David Price, email ccx074@coventry.ac.uk

The Mirror of the Sea

Contents:

I. Landfalls and Departures IV. Emblems of Hope VII. The Fine Art X. Cobwebs and Gossamer XIII. The Weight of the Burden XVI. Overdue and Missing XX. The Grip of the Land XXII. The Character of the Foe XXV. Rules of East and West XXX. The Faithful River XXXIII. In Captivity XXXV. Initiation XXXVII. The Nursery of the Craft XL. The Tremolino XLVI. The Heroic Age

CHAPTER I.

"And shippes by the brinke comen and gon, And in swich forme endure a day or two." The Frankeleyn's Tale.

Landfall and Departure mark the rhythmical swing of a seaman's life and of a ship's career. From land to land is the most concise definition of a ship's earthly fate.

A "Departure" is not what a vain people of landsmen may think. The term "Landfall" is more easily understood; you fall in with the land, and it is a matter of a quick eye and of a clear atmosphere. The Departure is not the ship's going away from her port any more than the Landfall can be looked upon as the synonym of arrival... Continue reading book >>


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