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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

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

Un buon racconto dell'autore inglese, anche se trovo sia inferiore ai racconti di Natale che ho letto recentemente.
Il libro parla di un naufragio, appunto, e di come un gruppo di uomini, su due scialuppe di salvataggio, cerchi di sopravvivere con le poche risorse a loro disposizione. Come s...more

I do like Dickens...but I had trouble with this story...and will need to reread this to figure out what I missed. I couldn't determine if they were still drifting at the conclusion!

Dickens, Charles. The Wreck of the Golden Mary. 1856.
There is a lot we don’t know about this 40-page novella about a ship that hits an iceberg off Cape Horn and leaves its crew and passengers stranded in a couple of small boats. It was first published as a Christmas supplement in Household...more

The Wreck of the Golden Mary is a short collection of 6 connected short stories and 1 poem written by 6 different authors. Together, these formed the main part of the Christmas 1856 issue of the magazine 'Household Words', which was edited by Dickens at this time. The common theme is centred on t...more

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

2.5 stars rounded up to three.

Read in this compilation: A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Classics. This story is another victim of the travesty explained here.

I'll give a better review of this when I read the rest of this story which isn't included in the book I have, nor is it in The...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...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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