Two years

Dana, Two years before the mast

Richard Henry Dana - Two years before the mast

This seminal work was first published in 1840 (New York: Harper & Bros., 483 p. 12mo., tan cloth boards - BAL's binding variant B1.)

We hold, amongst other editions, two copies of this work, republished by Houghton Mifflin in 1911; this edition was the first with illustration by E. Boyd Smith and contains a new chapter by the author's son "Seventy-six Years After," an appendix prepared in 1911. (It also includes the chapter "Twenty-four Years After" prepared by Dana to accompany the "author's" edition published in 1869.) It was probably first published with a "windowed" dust jacket. [N.B. There was also a two volume edition limited to 350 copies.]

There are however variations in our copies of this edition: one measures 8 1/4" and has a black title on the t.p., the other 8 3/4" with a red title (see images below.) Any explanation of these publishing differences would be appreciated.

Two years

Dana, title page of "smaller" edition

Two years

Dana, title page of "taller" edition


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Revised: 3 December 2011