Coming Down in the Drink


By: Charles Nordhoff
Format: Hardback
Series: Seafarers Voices
Pages: 196
ISBN: 9781848321649
Published: 13th February 2013
RRP / Print Price: £13.99

Current purchase price:
£13.99

Coming Down in the Drink

Like many a restless teenager before him, Charles Nordhoff craved excitement and in 1844, when barely 14, he managed to talk his way into the US Navy. A bookish lad who had been apprenticed to a printer, Nordhoff was better educated than most of his fellow seamen, and was well equipped to describe what became a three-year round-the-world adventure. He was lucky in his ship, USS Columbus, a large 74-gun ship of the line that had been chosen to undertake a diplomatic mission to China, and then to Japan, in an abortive attempt to open the latter to American trade. In the course of this voyage, Nordhoff was to see many countries of south-east Asia and the Far East, before crossing the Pacific, visiting South America, rounding Cape Horn, and finally returning to Norfolk, Virginia, having crossed the Equator six times. 

Apart from its descriptions of exotic climes, much of the interest in the book lies in a boy's view of naval life and how the ship was run. The US Navy was small and followed very conservative principles, with an emphasis on discipline, routine and training that would have been familiar a century earlier. However, it was also subtly different: more humane in its treatment of the crew, less draconian in punishment, and a promoter of what would be considered 'Victorian' moral values. The book offers a valuable and entertaining account of life in the last days of the sailing warship.

 



Some books that may interest you

The Vickers Viscount
The Vickers Viscount
By: Nick Stroud

Armoured Warfare in the Korean War [Kindle]
Armoured Warfare in the Korean War [Kindle]
By: Anthony Tucker-Jones

De Havilland Enterprises: A History
De Havilland Enterprises: A History
By: Graham Simons

Zulu Terror
Zulu Terror
By: Robin Binckes

Coastal Convoys 1939-1945
Coastal Convoys 1939-1945
By: Nick Hewitt

German Army on the Eastern Front - The Advance
German Army on the Eastern Front - The Advance
By: Ian Baxter

War in the Mediterranean 1940-43
War in the Mediterranean 1940-43
By: Bernard Ireland

Airway to the East 1918-1920
Airway to the East 1918-1920
By: Clive Semple

Napoleon and the Archduke Charles
Napoleon and the Archduke Charles
By: F Lorraine Petre

The Kaiser's Battle
The Kaiser's Battle
By: Martin Middlebrook

U-Boat Ace
U-Boat Ace
By: Jordan Vause

Secret Days
Secret Days
By: Lord Asa Briggs

AD69: Emperors, Armies and Anarchy
AD69: Emperors, Armies and Anarchy
By: Dr Nic Fields

From Pole to Pole
From Pole to Pole
By: Garth James Cameron

The Frontiers of Imperial Rome
The Frontiers of Imperial Rome
By: David J Breeze



Quick Find
 
Use keywords to find the book you are looking for.
Advanced Search

Information
Contact Us

Disclosure: Military History books are affiliates of the suppliers on this website and will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.