Friday Favorites #15: Westward Ho!

Friday Favorites is a weekly meme hosted here, that spotlights a favorite author, book, series, publisher, cover, blog, etc. Basically whatever bookish thing that you love, recommend, and want to tell others about. Just pick one and link up to my post each Friday to share. You can use the graphic I used above, the other one here, or your own.

Today I want to share with you a favorite classic of mine. In a prior Friday Favorites post I talked about N. C. Wyeth, who was a fabulous artist and illustrator. Westward Ho! is one of the books he illustrated and that I have in my collection. The hardcover books, like I have, are harder to come by these days. Amazon has a free Kindle version and Barnes and Noble has a physical copy and a Nook version.

Westward Ho!
or, the Voyages and Adventures of Sir Amyas Leigh, Knight, of Burrough
by Charles Kingsley
Historical Romance
September 30th 1992 by Atheneum (first published 1855)

From the inside flap:

Charles Kingsley's historical romance of the Spanish Main was first published in 1855, wand with N. C. Wyeth's dramatic pictures, in 1920.

From the coral reefs of the Barbados to the great sea battle with the Spanish Armada, this vibrant novel captures the daring spirit of Elizabethan adventurers who sailed with Sir Francis Drake.

Purchase a copy from:

Why it is a favorite:

There is adventure, battles on the sea, sword fights, impossible love, and a bittersweet ending. Maybe these illustrations will give you an idea:

There are definitely some references to Catholicism, but reading this keeping in mind its historical context I didn't really think much about them. It is just a story about a man who is born and serves during this time period when The Church asked a lot from some individuals. Amyas gives almost all.

The first time I read this I was quite young, maybe ten years old. I was completely captivated by the story and, even at that age, it made me cry. It still makes me cry, but it's one of those sad and at the same time happy cries. Amyas goes through his life losing so much, through all these battles and sacrifices to fulfill what he has been commissioned to do, but the ending is really so strong and sweet. It is one I'm planning on all my kids reading and one we can actually discuss.

About the Author
(from the book's back inside flap)

Charles Kingsley (1819-1875) was an English clergyman, novelist, and poet, who was born at Dartmoor in Devon and began writing when he was five years old. He was much involved in the social reform movements of his time. Kingsley's best-known works are the children's fantasy The Water Babies, and Westward Ho!

(from Goodreads) 

Charles Kingsley was an English clergyman, university professor, historian, and novelist, particularly associated with the West Country and north-east Hampshire.

He was educated at Helston Grammar School before studying at King's College London, and the University of Cambridge. Charles entered Magdalene College, Cambridge in 1838, and graduated in 1842. He chose to pursue a ministry in the church. From 1844, he was rector of Eversley in Hampshire, and in 1860, he was appointed Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge.

His writing shows an impulse to reconfigure social realities into dream geographies through Christian idealism.

    You can find Charles here: 

Do you have a favorite to share this week?
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