Sea Life in Nelson's Time by John Masefield
Written by British Poet Laureate John Masefield in 1905, this lyrical tribute to sailors in the Age of Sail captures the grim reality of life at sea. In the clear, muscular English that made him famous, Masefield breathes life into the misery and barbarity that served as a foundation for naval glory. He brilliantly tells the story of the ships of Nelson's Navy, and especially of the sailors, describing the duties of each man, the unwholesome food, the cramped and filthy living quarters, the inhuman punishments, and the floating hell of a ship in action. Based on his own youthful apprenticeship aboard windjammers that sailed around the Horn, Masefield was both inspired and repelled by the sailor's lot. This epic eulogy for sailors long gone, considered a classic for decades, will be valued by Nelson enthusiasts everywhere.