Two Years Before the Mast

Many of us have substantial book collections, and those collections often concentrate largely on one or two particular areas of interest. My own shelves, for example, are full of books of myths and folklore. For some, however, that concentration becomes much more focused. Serious collectors often focus on first editions and rare books, or on the works of a particular author.

Bill Ewald of Auburn, California has made a single book, Richard Henry Dana Junior’s Two Years Before the Mast, the theme of his collection. Ewald has so far amassed nearly 700 copies of the book, which was published in 1840. He began his collection in 1985, inspired by late bookstore owner Herb Caplan, who owned ten editions of Two Years Before the Mast and had remarked that someone should gather a complete collection. At the time, Ewald had no idea just how many editions of the book existed.

A Yankee in Mexican California, a collection of excerpts from Two Years Before the Mast available now from Heyday, may be one more book for his collection!

Click here for the recent article from the Auburn Journal.