The Private Journal of William Reynolds  -     By: William Reynolds
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The Private Journal of William Reynolds

Penguin Books / 2004 / Paperback

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Product Description

Midshipman William Reynolds brings to life American's first ocean-going voyage of discovery. The U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838-1842 covered 87,000 miles in four years, circuiting the globe. This first-person narrative paints a picture of the terrifying majesty of the seas, colored by a young man's wonder at new experiences, and also describes the peril of sailing under abusive commander Charles Wilkes, who eventually lost the support of his crew.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: Penguin Books
Publication Date: 2004
ISBN: 0143039059
ISBN-13: 9780143039051
UPC: 051488015000
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

One of the finest nineteenth-century first-person narratives of a sea voyage in existence, and a principle source for Sea of Glory, The Private Journal of William Reynolds brings to life the boisterous world traversed by the six vessels that comprised America's first ocean-going voyage of discovery, the U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838–1842. With great eloquence and verve Midshipman William Reynolds describes the harrowing 87,000-mile, four-year circuit of the globe, and relates the story of how the abusive commander of the Ex. Ex., Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, gradually lost the support of his crew. With a seaman's understanding and an artist's appreciation for the wild beauty that surrounds him, the Journal is a tour de force combining meticulous observations with a young man's sense of wonder and, on occasion, terror as he is tossed about by the tremendous seas.
 

Author Bio

William Reynolds (1815–1879) was a junior officer on the Ex. Ex. with Captain Wilkes.


Nathaniel Philbrick, is a leading authority on the history of Nantucket Island. His In the Heart of the Sea won the National Book Award. His latest book is Sea of Glory, about the epic U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838–1842. His other books include Away off Shore: Nantucket Island and Its People, 1602-1890 (which Russell Baker called "indispensable") and Abram's Eyes: The Native American Legend of Nantucket Island ("a classic of historical truthtelling," according to Stuart Frank, director of the Kendall Whaling Museum). He has written an introduction to a new edition of Joseph Hart's Miriam Coffin, or The Whale Fisherman, a Nantucket novel (first published in 1834) that Melville relied upon for information about the island when writing Moby Dick.

Philbrick, a champion sailboat racer, has also written extensively about sailing, including The Passionate Sailor (1987) and the forthcoming Second Wind: A Sunfish Sailor's Odyssey. He was editor in chief of the classic Yaahting: A Parody (1984).

In his role as director of the Egan Institute of Maritime Studies, Philbrick, who is also a research fellow at the Nantucket Historical Association, gives frequent talks about Nantucket and sailing. He has appeared on "NBC Today Weekend", A&E's "Biography" series, and National Public Radio and has served as a consultant for the movie "Moby Dick", shown on the USA Network. He received a bachelor of Arts from Brown University and a Master of Arts in American Literature from Duke. He lives on Natucket with his wife and two children.


Thomas Philbrick is professor emeritus of English at the University of Pittsburgh.

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