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Sailing the Seven Seas by Mary Ellen Chase
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Sailing the Seven Seas

by Mary Ellen Chase

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The first of three "nautical" histories by Mary Ellen Chase in the North Star Books childrens' series, a series which included such well-known authors as André Maurois, Anya Seton, U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, John Dos Passos, and Mario Pei, along with any number of thoroughly forgotten writers.

Chase, sadly, falls among the today-forgotten authors, but she was a well-known and popular Maine novelist in the mid-20th century as well as a highly esteemed English professor (and eventual department chair) at Smith College. Sailing the Seven Seas is a book that's not going to be of much interest to today's children – some of it (especially reference to Indian "savages") won't meet the standard of political correctness – but it's of definite interest to the Chase aficionado because it is heavily based on the seagoing lives of Chase's paternal grandparents, which helps give a biographical basis to such of Chase's novels as Mary Peters and Silas Crockett.

Chase is an important figure in Maine literature, the transitional figure between Sarah Orne Jewett and Elizabeth Strout. Sailing the Seven Seas isn't recommended to most of today's readers but is of real usefulness to those interested in Chase as a writer. ( )
  CurrerBell | Jul 28, 2018 |
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