Nautical Autobiography in the Age of Sail
An appraisal of the appeal of the sea as presented in the autobiographic pictures painted by literate sailors through the ages. From its romance to its terror, yet still providing a magnet stronger that many other occupations. Not only does the literature provide a record of the cultural variations of the world but also its climate and its occupants. The article discusses these factors as recorded by plain seamen in different types of vessel, whilst pointing out the infinite variations that can occur whilst moving a vessel from one point to another. It points out the fascinating glimpses into the appeal of the sea and the response of its users, from the enticements of the romance to the horrors of the press-gang and involvement of nations at war.