This book is a fascinating and detailed chronicle of over two years spent in the American merchant service during the early 1800s. Written as a journal, it depicts the adventures and vicissitudes of a young sailor travelling from Boston around Cape Horn and on to the west coast of North America. Brought to life with a vividness that belies its age, "Two Years Before the Mast" is highly recommended for lovers of adventure writing and those with an interest in nautical history. Many vintage books such as this are becoming increasingly scarce and expensive. It is with this in mind that we are republishing this volume now in an affordable, high-quality edition complete with a specially commissioned new biography of the author.