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The Master Mariner [Paperback]

Nicholas Monsarrat
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Dec 2000
A young Devon sailor, Matthew Lawe, is cursed after a spectacular act of cowardice to wander the wild waters till all the seas run dry. In this, Nicholas Monsarrat's final masterpiece, Lawe represents the spirit of maritime exploration and fortitude; his life is the thread stringing together a long history of nautical adventure. Written in two volumes, the first of which appeared in 1978, the story encompasses the full extent of maritime development, beginning with Sir Francis Drake abandoning a game of bowls to fight the great crescent of the Spanish fleet, to the opening in 1960 of the St Lawrence Seaway, the farthest penetration of land ever made by ocean-going sailors. Nicholas Monsarrat died in 1979, before he had completed the second volume, but his notes and outlines are included here to provide a satisfying end to Matthew Lawe's epic wanderings.


Product details

  • Paperback: 866 pages
  • Publisher: House of Stratus; New edition edition (4 Dec 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842321501
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842321508
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 14.4 x 20.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,197,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

In this, Nicholas Monsarrat's masterpiece, Lawe represents the spirit of maritime exploration and fortitude; his life is the thread stringing together a long history of nautical adventure. Written in two volumes, the first of which appeared in 1978, the story encompasses the full extent of maritime development, beginning with Sir Francis Drake abandoning a game of bowls to fight the great crescent of the Spanish fleet, to the opening in 1960 of the St Lawrence Seaway, the farthest penetration of land ever made by ocean-going sailors. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Nicholas Monsarrat was born in Liverpool and educated at Cambridge University, where he studied law. His career as a solicitor encountered a swift end when he decided to leave Liverpool for London, with a half-finished manuscript under his arm and #40 in his pocket. With the publication of his classic, The Cruel Sea, he became one of the most successful novelists of the twentieth century, whose rich and varied collection bears the hallmark of a truly gifted writer.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Definitely one of my favourite books of all time. It describes the life of the lowly seafarer throughout four hundred years of maritime history. The character Matthew Lawe is cursed to live indefinitely and destined to spend his time plying the only living he knows. Matthew finds his way on to many famous historical voyages. He sails with James Cook and Henry Morgan amongst others and through his experiences the author provides a brilliant insight into the living conditions on such voyages. By allowing the book to be fictional it becomes possible to add so much more detail than could be included in a work of non-fiction and it does so without seriously compromising historical accuracy. For anyone interested in maritime history and adventure, fact or fiction I would recommend this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful ... 27 Oct 2005
Format:Paperback
... and the book I voted for in the Big Read.

First, a warning: I believe Monsarrat took so long to write the first volume of this book that he was afraid he'd die before he finished his mighty saga. As if to prove his prescience, chapter 1 of the second volume was barely finished (and the rest of the chapters mere 'sketches') by the time Nicholas Monsarrat received the mariner's last call. But don't let that put you off reading this. You can still catch the flavour of volume 2 in this edition.

Running Proud

The tale of the Master Mariner begins with young Matthew Lawe serving as one of Drake's coxswains. Ordered to captain a fire-ship dispatched to break up the Spanish Armada, he loses his nerve and fires the ship too early. As the ship burns about him, and his crewmen too, one of them curses him: "Do you want to live forever, Matthew Lawe?" Although Lawe escapes with his hide intact (captured by a passing spaniard) he finds he is doomed to wander the Earth like some early Flying Dutchman, forever betraying the trust of those around him, aging only five or ten years a century. It is by this 'artistic device' of slow aging that Monsarrat enables his hero to experience the breadth and richness of British naval history - from its growing strength with searches for the North West passage, piracy under Henry Morgan (more than a little grim - these are real pirates after all) and as an admiralty clerk with Peyps, to its heyday with the voyages of Cook and Nelson, and finally its decline in the 20th C, as seen from the sketches in vol. 2. In every time period Matthew Lawe has the opportunity to lay down his own life to save a fellow - and in every one he turns aside, flawed, still cursed, living on.

Will he ever escape his doom? And if so, how?
Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Running Proud 14 Jun 2012
By fupabox
Format:Hardcover
I read around 80- 100 books every year..every year "The Master Mariner .Running Proud " is one of them. Oaf , opportunist , scoundrel , hero , coward ..which is Matthew Lawe ? It's up to the reader to decide. I think we can all find parts of ourselves in Matthew. Do you pity him, or cheer him on? I would wager that both are correct. He will make you proud,and he will disappoint you in equal shares. Matthew is always just inches from greatness,does something inside him refuse to go that final inch ,or is he doomed to be merely a witness to history ? I don't want to give anything away..only to entice you to read this incredible story.The amount of research(written at a time before the internet) that must have gone into this novel is simply staggering ..You won't regret it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Running Proud 21 Mar 2012
By Rotosis
Format:Paperback
My parents we are very please with the condition and price of this book. Thank you very much for the purchase.
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