Java Head by Joseph Hergesheimer

Java Head is a novel of the American merchant marine at the beginning of the great clipper ship era. It is laid in Salem, when that city was still a port rich with the traffic of the East Indies; a story of choleric ship masters, charming girls, and an aristocratic Manchu woman in carmine and jades and crusted gold. There is a drama as secret and poisonous as opium, lovely old gardens with lilac trees and green lattices, and elm-shaded streets ending at the harbor with the brigs unloading ivory from Africa and the ships crowding on their topsails for Canton. It is a romantic novel-and yet true-rather than a study of drab manners; there is no purpose in it other than the pleasure to be found in the spectacle of life supported by high courage and made beautiful by women in peacock shawls.

Chapter 01 – 00:00
Chapter 02 – 47:06
Chapter 03 – 1:32:18
Chapter 04 – 2:05:12
Chapter 05 – 2:51:55
Chapter 06 – 3:39:35
Chapter 07 – 4:20:34
Chapter 08 – 5:24:13
Chapter 09 – 6:22:42
Chapter 10 – 7:15:22

Read by Margaret Espaillat (


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