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Under Sail

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Under Sail.pdf | Language: English

Fresh from the momentous experiences of his maiden voyage, merchant seaman James Dunbar is back in his native Suffolk.Struggling to recapture the intensity of that Mexican adventure, when he discovered his own distinctive artistic spirit, he seeks inspiration in Julia Ravenham, an enigmatic beautiful aesthete eager to nurture his young talent.He falls in love, but the emotional and artistic approval of bohemian London cannot quell the call of the sea. It is his vocation, but also his destiny.In securing a berth aboard Fort Mackinac, a sailing ship bound for Australia, Dunbar strives to build the character essential for a successful career.Even after four years of hunger, humiliation, danger and remorseless physical labour wreaking havoc upon his mental state - but seeing his paintings of crew life acclaimed - Dunbar's sense of purpose remains undimmed. Yet with the outbreak of naval operations in the First World War, his artistic past returns in haunting fashion, provoking a desperate confrontation amid the wilds of the South Atlantic Ocean...

A thoroughly absorbing adventure. NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE EVENING CHRONICLE More than a rip-roaring yarn of life before, behind and at the top of the mast, this is a tale of love, adventure and idealistic longings. NORTH NORFOLK NEWS Richard Woodman was born in London in 1944. He became an indentured midshipman in cargo liners at 16 and has sailed in a variety of ships, serving from apprentice to captain. He is now enjoying retirement, sailing frequently.

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Book details

  • PDF | 384 pages
  • Little Brown Uk (April 2, 1998)
  • English
  • 9
  • Literature & Fiction

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Review Text

  • By Tony Watson on January 7, 2005

    Having escaped the horrors of his Central American exploits, young James Dunbar returns to Suffolk, full of a lust for life and art. Love's young dream, in the shape of the free-spirited Julia, encourages his artistic bent and tries to divert his path from the sea to that of an artist. She fails, despite baring her soul to him, for he is too callow and introverted to understand her underlying goal (as most men are with women). He is intent on gaining experience of sail, as an addition to his steam ticket, so he signs up as deck-hand on a 4-master bound for Australia. They part on an ambivalent note, and a 4-year separation and lost letters do nothing to cement the relationship, resulting in a disappointment for both as he returns - the saving grace being his continued painting during the trip.Now passed for Master, he rejoins his ship, after gaining artistic fame through Julia's contacts, foiling a plot against the Govt. and vastly disillusioning himself with life.More travels and escapades ensue as the world descends into The Great War, culminating in near-tragedy for James and an unexpected twist to the tale which completes a cycle of intrigue begun in 'Waterfront'.Quite different to Mr. Woodman's Nathaniel Drinkwater series, in that it is set a century later in a soon-to-be-shattered peacetime on a merchantman, and focuses on James' personal life, rather than naval tactics. However, it still has that master's touch of fluid, easy reading, combining vivid descriptions of handling a square-rigger in both storms and fair winds with tender handling of a young man's aspirations to art and love.Highly recommended


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