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The Mariner of St. Malo

Stephen Leacock

Book Overview: 

Jacques Cartier grew up as a sailor, married well and became an agent of exploration for King Francis I of France. In April, 1534, he sailed for the New World. Before sailing, his men took an oath that they would “behave themselves truly and faithfully in the service of the Most Christian King.” Jacques’ name was made immortal by the faithfulness with which he and his men carried out that oath.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .June 15, Cartier, disappointed, as we have seen, with the rugged country that he found on the northern shore, turned south again to pick up the mainland, as he called it, of Newfoundland. Sailing south from Brest to a distance of about sixty miles, he found himself on the same day off Point Rich on the west coast of Newfoundland, to which, from its appearance, he gave the name of the Double Cape. For three days the course lay to the south-west along the shore. The panorama that was unfolded to the eye of the explorer was cheerless. The wind blew cold and hard from the north-east. The weather was dark and gloomy, while through the rifts of the mist and fog that lay heavy on the face of the waters there appeared only a forbidding and scarcely habitable coast. Low lands with islands fringed the shore. Behind them great mountains, hacked and furrowed in their outline, offered an uninviting prospect. There was here no Eldorado such as, farther south, met the covetous gaze of a. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Interesting history of Jacques Cartier's explorations of "New France" (Canada), and his up and down relations with the local Indians. The King of France's reason for funding his explorations was to find a new passage west to Asia. He went on three major voyages to the area from 1534 - 1541. First...more

I was able to read one of the originally published, lovely red-leather bound books. Unfortunately, I was unable to an entry for it here at GoodReads. While a kindle/ebook version may be easy to access, there's nothing like the feel and smell of an old book - especially the small ones!

As usual, Le...more