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The Mirror of the Sea is a collection of autobiographical essays first published in various magazines 1904-6 (Summary by Wikipedia). Conrad early in his life earned his bread as a Master Mariner in sailing ships. In his Author's Note to this work, Conrad states,"Beyond the line of the sea horizon the world for me did not exist .Within these pages I make a full confession not of my sins but of my emotions. It is the best tribute my piety can offer to the ultimate shapers of my character, convictions, and, in a sense, destiny---to the imperishable sea, to the ships that are no more, and to the simple men who have had their day."