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Wreck of the Golden Mary

Charles Dickens

Book Overview: 

A short story of a ship wreck in 1851 trying to round Cape Horn on its way to the California gold fields. Poignant and well written.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I might have done at the cabin table.

Of my passengers, I need only particularise, just at present, a bright-eyed blooming young wife who was going out to join her husband in California, taking with her their only child, a little girl of three years old, whom he had never seen; a sedate young woman in black, some five years older (about thirty as I should say), who was going out to join a brother; and an old gentleman, a good deal like a hawk if his eyes had been better and not so red, who was always talking, morning, noon, and night, about the gold discovery.  But, whether he was making the voyage, thinking his old arms could dig for gold, or whether his speculation was to buy it, or to barter for it, or to cheat for it, or to snatch it anyhow from other people, was his secret.  He kept his secret.

These three and the child were the soonest well.  The child was a most engaging child, to be sure, and very fond of me: though I am bound to admi. . . Read More

Community Reviews

What an interesting short book.

What works well is, it is hard to tell the different authors apart. There are subtle differences, but it flows well.

This certainly isn't an uplifting book any anyways, although there is a happy ending of sorts. All too much is on human frailties and their outcomes....more

This is a short novella with what appears to have no ending. I'm trying to figure out if what I read is the full story or if I somehow didn't download the whole thing.

I almost squealed with delight when I saw this book in the library. No, I had never heard of it nor anyone had ever recommended it to me. But what made me happy was that this book was written by Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins. Till I read this book , I had no clue that they were colleagues or...more

Interesting and engaging but also disappointing as it seems to have no ending!

Here we have another fine example of Dickens’ writing style. In this short story it was superb, exceptionally vivid, in part, you felt like you were there on the boats with the passengers and felt for their suffering.

Over a period of time and due to the numerous books already read by Dickens, he...more

Dylan Nordstrom
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you survived a shipwreck and continue the depths of your survival on a lifeboat? In The Wreck of the Golden Mary by Charles Dickens, this idea of trying to survive an atrocity is explored. While this idea is ventured into, the surmounting...more

Its quite an odd story this one. It's not really a full novel and not really a complete story, but simply an account of a small period in time - namely a ship wreck.
The first half of the book is written by the Captain of a ship, commissioned to travel to California during the gold rush. But when...more

An interesting book, but to say it is by Charles Dickens alone seems a little disingenuous. The various short stories that make up the whole of the book have no less than six authors as originators of the tales. Still, what stops this from being a four or five star review is not the subject matte...more

Very brief and very scintillating. This fast-paced narrative could be a Canterbury Tale on the high seas. After all, stories are told and songs sung to pass the time. This could be a parable... all that glistens is not gold, but some golds are priceless. A shipwreck allows time to magnify loose t...more

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