White Jacket

or, The World in a Man-of-War

Cover image for

Download


Author: Herman Melville
Published: 1850
Language: English
Wordcount: 141,803 / 422 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 62.3
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 2,092
Added to site: 2004.06.30
mnybks.net#: 7979

A somewhat underappreciated novel written shortly before Moby-Dick. Though it contains some of Melville's best black humor (particularly the hilarious Surgeon of the Fleet episode), the book is mostly noted for its contribution to the abolition of flogging in the U.S. Navy.

Show Excerpt

eerage Steward, Commodore's cook, Captain's cook, Officers' cook, Cooks of the range, Mess-cooks, hammock-boys, messenger boys, cot-boys, loblolly-boys and numberless others, whose functions are fixed and peculiar.

It is from this endless subdivision of duties in a man-of-war, that, upon first entering one, a sailor has need of a good memory, and the more of an arithmetician he is, the better.

White-Jacket, for one, was a long time rapt in calculations, concerning the various "numbers" allotted him by the _First Luff_, otherwise known as the First Lieutenant. In the first place, White-Jacket was given the _number of his mess_; then, his _ship's number_, or the number to which he must answer when the watch-roll is called; then, the number of his hammock; then, the number of the gun to which he was assigned; besides a variety of other numbers; all of which would have taken Jedediah Buxton himself some time to arrange in battalions, previous to adding up. All these numbers, moreover, must be well remembere

Reviews

Average Rating of 5 from 1 reviews: *****
2009.04.02
A. B. Bonds
*****

This is not your father's Herman Melville (to coin a phrase). It would seem that when Melville wrote Moby-Dick, he put on his literature hat. White-Jacket is almost the antithesis. It is casual, witty, adventuresome, self-deprecating and contemplative. It is in the main a memoir of a year spent on a U.S. man-of-war, the 54-gun frigate USS Neversink in a voyage from Chile to Norfolk during the 1840'5. While names are changed to protect the innocent, it provides candid (sometimes extreme) portraits of the personnel and behavior encountered in this experience. The language is precise and evocative, and some of the descriptions are hilarious. A goodly portion of the book focuses on the abuses of sailors' rights and such practices as flogging. This disrupts the continuity of the narrative but clearly Melville felt it necessary at the time, and one cannot argue with his positions. An altogether ripping yarn, highly recommended mariner's literature.


(Promote your book here)

Featured Books

Cover image for White Jacket by Herman Melville - Free eBook

Who Murdered Mr. Malone?

Garden Girls Christian Cozy Mystery Series Book 1
Hope Callaghan

Who Murdered Mr. Malone? Book 1 of the Garden G... Read more

Cover image for White Jacket by Herman Melville - Free eBook

Phantasia

Book One: Into the Rain
M.U. Riyadad

After finding the body of a dragon in a metalli... Read more

Cover image for White Jacket by Herman Melville - Free eBook

Fearsome

Fearsome Series Book 1
S.A. Wolfe

*This is a stand-alone book in the Fearsome Ser... Read more

Cover image for White Jacket by Herman Melville - Free eBook

Nano Contestant

Episode 1: Whatever It Takes
Leif Sterling

Fans of the Hunger Games and Sci-Fi Thrillers will... Read more

Cover image for White Jacket by Herman Melville - Free eBook

Anais of Brightshire

The Blood Mage Chronicles Book 1
Jamie Wilson

While rumors of monsters rising in the south bring... Read more

Cover image for White Jacket by Herman Melville - Free eBook

Sound of Sirens

Tales of Skylge #1
Jen Minkman

On the island of Skylge, electricity is only fo... Read more

(advanced)
login | register

User ID

Password

reset password

Help ManyBooks by sharing this page!

See it as donating a moment of your social media time, every little thing helps us improve and stay online.

Popular in This Genre

The list of books below is based on the weekly downloads by our users regardless of eReader device or file format.

Treasure Island
by Robert Louis Stevenson
The After House
by Mary Roberts Rinehart
Moby Dick
by Herman Melville
An Ocean Tramp
by William McFee
Alone on an Island
by W.H.G. Kingston
Among Malay Pirates
by G.A. Henty

See more popular titles from this genre.