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1 Hawthorne Literature- A to Z

The Ghost of the Mary Celeste

by

The Ghost of the Mary Celeste Cover

ISBN13: 9780385533508
ISBN10: 0385533500
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A captivating, atmospheric return to historical fiction that is every bit as convincing and engrossing as Martin's landmark Mary Reilly.

In 1872 the American merchant vessel Mary Celeste was discovered adrift off the coast of Spain. Her cargo was intact and there was no sign of struggle, but the crew was gone. They were never found.

This maritime mystery lies at the center of an intricate narrative branching through the highest levels of late-nineteenth-century literary society. While on a voyage to Africa, a rather hard-up and unproven young writer named Arthur Conan Doyle hears of the Mary Celeste and decides to write an outlandish short story about what took place. This story causes quite a sensation back in the United States, particularly between sought-after Philadelphia spiritualist medium Violet Petra and a rational-minded journalist named Phoebe Grant, who is seeking to expose Petra as a fraud. Then there is the family of the Mary Celeste's captain, a family linked to the sea for generations and marked repeatedly by tragedy. Each member of this ensemble cast holds a critical piece to the puzzle of the Mary Celeste.

These three elements—a ship found sailing without a crew, a famous writer on the verge of enormous success, and the rise of an unorthodox and heretical religious fervor—converge in unexpected ways, in diaries, in letters, in safe harbors and rough seas. In a haunted, death-obsessed age, a ghost ship appearing in the mist is by turns a provocative mystery, an inspiration to creativity, and a tragic story of the disappearance of a family and of a bond between husband and wife that, for one moment, transcends the impenetrable barrier of death.

Review:

"Martin (Property) uses one of the most baffling maritime mysteries of all time as the starting point for a complex exploration of several different characters, including Arthur Conan Doyle. The melancholic and moving prologue, set in 1859, foreshadows the disaster that befalls a ship named Early Dawn. In 1872, the brig Mary Celeste, en route from New York to Genoa, is found floating at sea, no one aboard, and no real clues as to what happened to its crew of seven, including the captain, Benjamin Briggs; his wife; and his daughter. A decade later, Doyle, who has not yet created Sherlock Holmes, writes a fictional account of the ship's fate, in which a lunatic passenger is responsible for a massacre of the others onboard. 'J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement' elicits strong reactions from those who knew the Briggs family. Martin is less concerned with exploring theories about what actually happened than in the repercussions of the baffling disappearances, in a manner that will remind some of the Australian writer Joan Lindsay." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

US

About the Author

VALERIE MARTIN is the author of nine novels, including Trespass, Italian Fever, The Great Divorce, Mary Reilly, and the 2003 Orange Prize-winning Property and of three collections of short fiction.

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The Lost Entwife, January 23, 2014 (view all comments by The Lost Entwife)
Lately I've been really lusting after reads about ships lost at sea, or adventures on the high sea complete with pirates, adventuring tales, and scary ghosts. So, as you can imagine, The Ghost of Mary Celeste falls right into line with what I've been wanting so desperately and it came into my hands at a time that was perfect for the reading of it.

I live in Hawai'i, and so most of the time, even in January as it is now, the weather is warm and sunny. When I pick up a book like The Ghost of Mary Celeste I find myself longing for cold - for hot tea, blankets, snuggled in front of a fire time. I'm sure I sound crazy to all those folks who are currently fighting back against the polar vortex and the like, but you have to remember, for stories like this ghost story, you really need atmosphere. But the last few days, here in "Paradise," we've had super cold weather (for here). With temperatures dipping into the 50's (F) evenings, it made for the perfect atmosphere.

The best way I can describe my feelings about The Ghost of Mary Celeste is as follows: the beginning is interesting and adventuresome, the middle is a bit drab, and the ending is quite thrilling. I really struggled against keeping this book from being a "did-not-finish" because I needed to know the full story. I wanted to know what happened. I was less-than-impressed with the addition of Arthur Conan Doyle to the story and a bit leery about all of the spiritualists, but in the end I am glad I stuck it out because The Ghost of the Mary Celeste was one heck of a ride.

If you are like me and longing for more adventures out on the seas; if you are interested in things of an other-wordly type nature; or if you are just interested in finding out more about the ship, Mary Celeste, then I would suggest picking up Valerie Martin's intriguing imagining of what happened. Just push on past that middle-section, I promise it'll pay off in the end.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780385533508
Author:
Martin, Valerie
Publisher:
Nan A. Talese
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
20140131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.6 x 6.72 x 1.16 in 1.4 lb

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Nautical Fiction
Metaphysics » Fiction

The Ghost of the Mary Celeste Used Hardcover
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$17.50 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Nan A. Talese - English 9780385533508 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Martin (Property) uses one of the most baffling maritime mysteries of all time as the starting point for a complex exploration of several different characters, including Arthur Conan Doyle. The melancholic and moving prologue, set in 1859, foreshadows the disaster that befalls a ship named Early Dawn. In 1872, the brig Mary Celeste, en route from New York to Genoa, is found floating at sea, no one aboard, and no real clues as to what happened to its crew of seven, including the captain, Benjamin Briggs; his wife; and his daughter. A decade later, Doyle, who has not yet created Sherlock Holmes, writes a fictional account of the ship's fate, in which a lunatic passenger is responsible for a massacre of the others onboard. 'J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement' elicits strong reactions from those who knew the Briggs family. Martin is less concerned with exploring theories about what actually happened than in the repercussions of the baffling disappearances, in a manner that will remind some of the Australian writer Joan Lindsay." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , US
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