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White Shadows in the South Seas [Paperback]

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Item description for White Shadows in the South Seas by Frederick O'Brien...

"There is in the nature of every man, I firmly believe, a longing to see and know the strange places of the world. Life imprisons us all in its coil of circumstance, and the dreams of romance that color boyhood are forgotten, but they do not die. They stir at the sight of a white-sailed ship beating out to the wide sea; the smell of tarred rope on a blackened wharf, or the touch of the cool little breeze that rises when the stars come out will waken them again. Somewhere over the rim of the world lies romance, and every heart yearns to go and find it."

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Item Specifications...

Pages   284
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.82" Width: 5.98" Height: 0.71"
Weight:   0.97 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2001
Publisher   Dixon Price Publishing
ISBN  1929516193  
ISBN13  9781929516193  

Availability  0 units.

More About Frederick O'Brien

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Frederick O'Brien was born in 1869 and died in 1932. He wrote books about his travels, especially in the French Polynesian island chains of the South Pacific.

Frederick O'Brien was born in 1869 and died in 1932.

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Reviews - What do customers think about White Shadows in the South Seas?

Purple Prose Majesty   Jan 29, 2005
Was there ever a more romantic title than "White Shadows in the South Seas?" The book sold like hotcakes in the early 1920s and a movie of it won an Oscar in 1928. I suspect, however, that a lot of the popularity of the book was due to photographs of undraped Polynesian women and hints of sexual delights. One of the female characters is named "Vanquished Often." This is pretty racy for 1921, the stuff that escapist dreams were made of after the horrors of World War I.

Well, unfortunately, "White Shadows" while not a bad book is not a very good book either. It's about a visit the author made to the remote Marquesas Islands of the South Pacific. He meets a lot of bizarre characters and tells us of them at length -- and I have a feeling he told a few "stretchers" as Huck Finn would say. There's plenty of colorful descriptions of scenery that is in truth spectacular, and stories of some of the people who have visited the Marquesas, including Herman Melville and Paul Gauguin. O'Brien gives the reader a good dose of history and folklore.

I've had "White Shadows" and its companion volume "Mystic Isles of the South Seas" on my bookshelf for about 40 years. The titles are too evocative and the books too romantic to throw away. The photographs are pretty decent too, although not as revealing as some of Marquesan women in "The National Geographic" of the same epoch. So, buy the books and look at the pictures, read a bit of the purple prose, and dream of an Island maid named Vanquished Often.


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