The Duchess

Many men have written books about the great square-rigged sailing ships that, right up to the outbreak of World War II, plied their trade across the oceans of the world. But we believe that THE DUCHESS, which tells the story of the most famous of them all, the ill-fated four-masted barque Herzogin Cecilie, which was wrecked off the coast 0f Devon in the summer of 1936, is all the same unique. For here a woman is writing-the woman who first worked her passage in the ship, later married the ship’s master and sailed again, as wife of the master, on the last tragic voyage.

Pamela Eriksson is the daughter of a former South African Secretary for Defence. She was presented at Court, and took degree at Oxford. But like many others in the troubled ’thirties, she felt that there was something missing in the twentieth century. So she stepped out of the present into an almost timeless world of men and wind and the sea. Now, almost twenty-five years later, she tells the story. She tells it unforgettably, with rare humour, with a wonderful understanding of the man who became her husband and of those who served under him, and with a passion for Herzogin which communicates itself at once to the reader. She tells how she first joined the ship in Australia and met the dedicated young captain, Sven; of the hundred-and-twenty-day voyage to Falmouth, during which she experienced the savage weather of high latitudes and a well-deserved spanking from her husband to-be; of her  betrothal in age-old Lemland, birthplace of sailers, with its pine woods, green turf and ancient farmhouses set on the shores of a flashing inland sea; and of the first voyage, which proved also the last, she made as wife to the master, the fastest passage herzogin ever made, until the final rending when she struck.

Pamela Eriksson was to sail no more – though no the least fascinating part of this book is her account of her life on the Åland Islands after Herzogin was gone and before her son was born. But her love for the great ship that became almost a second husband to her has remained, now at last given wonderful expression. ”Herzogin Cecilie”, she writes, ” was something more than steel, wood and canvas, as man’s most loved creations are apt to be. No nuclear pile will ever inspire the same love and devotion nor touch with magic the inner lives of those who serve it.”


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  • Författare: Pamela Eriksson
  • Förlag: Secker & Warburg
  • Genre: Sjöfart
  • Språk: Engelska
  • Typ: Häftad
  • Antal sidor: 263
  • ISBN:90491276

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