Author(s): Joshua Slocum; Geoffrey Wolff
The first illustrated edition of the classic sailing memoir by Joshua Slocum, the first man to circumnavigate the globe alone
Sailing Alone Around the World is Joshua Slocum's memoir about sailing alone around the world aboard his sloop, Spray. The book was an immediate success when it was first published in 1900 and was highly influential in inspiring later travelers to do the same.
Slocum was a highly experienced navigator and ship owner. He rebuilt and refitted the derelict sloop Spray in a seaside pasture in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. Between April 24, 1895, and June 27, 1898, Slocum, aboard Spray, crossed the Atlantic twice (to Gibraltar and back to South America), negotiated the Strait of Magellan, and crossed the Pacific. He also visited Australia and South Africa before crossing the Atlantic (for the third time) to return to Massachusetts after a journey of 46,000 miles.
Filled with art, photographs, maps, artifacts, and period illustrations, this new edition will be popular with armchair travelers and maritime enthusiasts around the world. Included in this edition are excerpts from those who, inspired by Slocum, also circumnavigated the globe, as well as other well-known sailors, sailing enthusiasts, and sailing writers such as Henry Dana, Geoffrey Wolff, William F. Buckley, and Nathaniel Philbrick.
Sailing Around the World Alone is considered a sailing narrative classic and rightly so. Slocum, an experienced sailor of North America sets off in Spray, his home-built yacht, to voyage around the world. Although the language used may seem quite old-fashioned it is entirely readable and perhaps even lends a charming twist to the narration that may be missed in a more modern telling. Slocum does not waste time with waffle and fuss, he is carefully-descriptive and not verbose, perhaps because of his remarkably limited education. This lends Slocum’s tale a more hard-wearing style than anything flowery or too poetic. This may seem to indicate a lack of finesse but instead reflects a genuine and pragmatic style, accurate for recounting what is essentially a solo voyage on unforgiving freezing oceans, with pirate raids of course, and generally little to drivel about. However, when required, Slocum is masterfully evocative in his imagery. This work is deservedly a classic of the sea tales. This book is a good next port-of-call for those who enjoyed South Sea Vagabonds. - Dougal
JOSHUA SLOCUM was the first man to sail single-handedly around the world. He was a Nova Scotian born, naturalized American seaman and adventurer, and a noted writer. In 1900, he wrote a book about his journey, Sailing Alone Around the World, which became an international bestseller. He disappeared in November 1909 while aboard his boat, Spray. GEOFFREY WOLFF is an American novelist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer. Among his honors and recognitions are the Award in Literature of the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1994) and fellowships of the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Academy in Berlin (2007), and the Guggenheim Foundation. He is the author of Joshua Slocum's biography, The Hard Way Around: The Passages of Joshua Slocum.