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The Oxford Book of the Sea By Edited by Jonathan Raban

The Oxford Book of the Sea
by Edited by Jonathan Raban

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An anthology of writing about the sea, arranged in chronological order from the Anglo-Saxon poem "The Seafarer" (900) to Updike's "Rabbit at Rest" (1990). The collection includes fiction, travel, poetry, documentary, oceanography and essays, featuring both expected names and unknown ones.
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The Oxford Book of the Sea Summary

The Oxford Book of the Sea by Edited by Jonathan Raban

One of the earliest poems in the English language, "The Seafarer", is about the sea. Britain is a maritime culture and it is difficult to think of its history without bringing to mind such figures as Drake, Hawkins, Raleigh, and Nelson. The language itself is suffused with obsolete nautical terms (aloof, taken-aback, above board), and the literature of the sea in both Britain and America is especially rich. In these extracts the sea assumes a variety of guises - from the scourge of small-boat adventurers to Matthew Arnold's "Sea of Faith"; from the colonial road of 16th-century explorers to the fickle intimate of Hemingway's Old Man; from the Ancient Mariner's phantasmagoria to the wave-formations of modern oceanographers; and from the sublime spectacle viewed by Addison and the 18th-century Enlightenment to Edgar Allan Poe's maelstrom. Arranged in chronological order, the extracts form a history of preoccupations with and ideas about the sea. "The Seafarer's" theme of bleak exile gives way to the practical business of Renaissance explorers, and this in turn provides a subject and a range of metaphors for the metaphysical poets, Milton and Dryden. With the 18th-century sea travel becomes a more gentlemanly pursuit (although often a disagreeable one as Tobias Smollett discovers), but the subduable, if sometimes inconvenient sea is soon whipped up into an archetypal storm by the Romantics. The 19th-century is remarkable for the numbers of writers who turned professional sailors - Melville, Conrad and Masefield to name but three. In their fictions, and in the records of the later single-handed yachtsmen such as Joshua Slocum and Hilaire Belloc, the sea becomes a striking setting for heroism and adventure. In the late 20th-century these romances seem played out, and the fresh investigations into the mechanics and meaning of the sea have been made more by the poets and oceanographers.

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About Edited by Jonathan Raban

About the Author
Jonathan Raban is an acclaimed novelist and travel writer whose books include Hunting Mister Heartbreak, Coasting, Old Glory, and Foreign Land. and

Additional information

The Oxford Book of the Sea by Edited by Jonathan Raban
Edited by Jonathan Raban
Used - Like New
Oxford University Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
The book has been read, but looks new. The book cover has no visible wear, and the dust jacket is included if applicable. No missing or damaged pages, no tears, possible very minimal creasing, no underlining or highlighting of text, and no writing in the margins.