The Crew Of The Water Wagtail

The Crew Of The Water Wagtail

by R. M. Ballantyne


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If the crew of the Water Wagtail had known what was in store for them when they set sail from Bristol, one fine spring morning at the beginning of the sixteenth century, most of them would have remained at home -- though it is not improbable that, even with full knowledge of coming events, some of the romantic among them, and a few of the reckless, might have decided to go on.

Undoubtedly Paul Burns would have scorned to draw back, for he was a "hero of romance;" an enthusiast of the deepest dye, with an inquiring mind, a sanguine disposition, and a fervent belief in all things great and good and grand. He was also a six-footer in his socks, a horse in constitution, a Hercules in frame, with a hook nose and a hawk eye and a strong jaw -- and all the rest of it. Paul had a good brain, too, and was well educated -- as education went in those days. Yes, there can be little doubt that even though Paul Burns had been able to see into the future, he would have deliberately chosen to go on that voyage.

But who could say the same? -- Not I, reader. Not I.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781463895969
Publisher: Aegypan
Publication date: 07/07/2011
Pages: 146
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Robert Michael Ballantyne (1825 - 1894) was a Scottish author of juvenile fiction who wrote more than 100 books. He was also an accomplished artist and exhibited some of his water-colors at the Royal Scottish Academy. Ballantyne went to Canada aged 16 and spent five years working for the Hudson's Bay Company. He traded with the local Native Americans for furs, which required him to travel by canoe and sleigh to the areas occupied by the modern-day provinces of Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, experiences that formed the basis of his novel Snowflakes and Sunbeams (1856). His longing for family and home during that period impressed him to start writing letters to his mother. Ballantyne recalled in his autobiographical Personal Reminiscences in Book Making (1893) that "To this long-letter writing I attribute whatever small amount of facility in composition I may have acquired." In 1856 Ballantyne gave up job working for a publishing firm to focus on his literary career and began the series of adventure stories for the young with which his name is popularly associated. The Coral Island (1857) and more than 100 other books followed in regular succession, his rule being in every case to write as far as possible from personal knowledge of the scenes he described.

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