Harvey Cheyne is the over-indulged son of a millionaire. When he falls overboard from an ocean liner he is rescued by a Portuguese fisherman and, initially against his will, joins the crew of the We're Here for a summer.
Through the medium of an exciting adventure story, Captains Courageous (1897) deals with a boy who like Mowgli in The Jungle Book, is thrown into an entirely alien environment. The superstitious, magical world of the sea and the tough, orderly, physical world of the boat form a backdrop to Harvey's regeneration. Kipling describes the fascination skills of the schooner fishermen who would soon be made redundant by the twentieth century, and makes the ship function as a
convincing model for a society engaged in a difficult and dangerous task.
The introduction to this edition examines its place among other maritime novels and among Kipling's own work, and explanatory notes clarify the seafaring terms and historical and geographical references.
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