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The Maritime Bookstore at Mystic Seaport offers one of the nation’s most comprehensive selection of maritime books. Our shelves feature more than 90 of the Museum’s publications, new titles, used books, rare volumes, pictorial books, and magazines.
In addition to our wide selection of books, we also offer a DVD viewing area, a children’s section, a CD listening area, and free wireless Internet.
Subjects include: Mystic Seaport publications, Adventure, Art, Blacksmithing, Boat Building, Boat Maintenance, Canoe, Coast Guard, Cookbooks, Cooperage, Crafts, Eric Sloane, Expeditions, Figureheads, Ghosts and Haunted, Kayak, Knots, Log Books and Journals, Maritime Calendars, Maritime Fiction, Maritime History, Model Making, Music of the Sea, Nautical Pictorial, Nautical Terminology, Naval History, New England Pictorial, History and Travel, Pirates, Power Boats, Rigging, Rowing and Sculling, Sailing and Sailboats, Scrimshaw, Sea History magazine, Seamanship, Navigation, and Boating, Shipwrecks and Storms, Special Value books, Voyages, Water, Earth and Sky, Whaling, Wood Carving, WoodenBoat magazine (back issues available) and publications, as well as audio books and more than 200 youth titles.
In Celebration of the 38th Voyage
The Charles W. Morgan is the last of an American whaling fleet that numbered more than 2,700 vessels. Built and launched in 1841, the Morgan is America’s oldest commercial ship still afloat and an icon of the nation’s maritime heritage. The ship sailed on her historic 38th Voyage during the summer of 2014.
The Charles W. Morgan: A Picture History of an American Icon – This coffee table book, published in December 2014 by Mystic Seaport in collaboration with The Day, chronicles the history and recent voyage of the Charles W. Morgan, America’s last surviving wooden whaleship. The 144-page book is a photographic account of the story of the American whale fishery, the Morgan’s career as an active whaleship, as a museum exhibit, and her recent restoration and historic 38th Voyage. The book’s stunning images are selected from the Museum’s collections and from work by the Museum’s photographers, who accompanied the ship during her latest voyage. Order online.
The Charles W. Morgan: America’s Last Wooden Whaling Ship – The one-hour documentary film “The Charles W. Morgan,” which was directed by five-time Emmy winner Bailey Pryor and had its broadcast debut on PBS in May 2014, is now available on DVD. The film tells the extraordinary story of America’s last wooden whaleship and the incredible saga of whaling, the first global industry dominated by the United States. Order online.
The Charles W. Morgan — John F. Leavitt’s comprehensive history brings the whaleship to life, and includes crew lists; a summary of voyages and logbooks; historic photographs of the ship, her captains, and their wives (five sailed with their husbands, two as expert navigators); the author’s own detail sketches; a sail plan; a glossary; and an index. Order online.
Down to the Seas Again: The 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan – Cartoonist and illustrator Lucy Bellwood has published all of her original art from her time spent aboard the Charles W. Morgan during the whaleship’s the historic 38th Voyage.
Whale Hunt – In this narrative Nelson Cole Haley, a harpooner on the Morgan during her third voyage from 1849-1853, provides a feel for what life was like on a whaleship. “This classic true story of a voyage on the Charles W. Morgan is both a wonderful read and an excellent source of information about American whaling in the 19th century,” said Nathaniel Philbrick, author of In the Heart of the Sea. Order online.
New for spring! Check out these titles that just arrived at the Bookstore.
A Path in the Mighty Waters: Shipboard Life & Atlantic Crossings to the New World by Stephen R. Berry – In October 1735, James Oglethorpe’s Georgia Expedition set sail from London, bound for Georgia. Two hundred and twenty-seven passengers boarded two merchant ships accompanied by a British naval vessel and began a transformative voyage across the Atlantic that would last nearly five months. Chronicling their passage in journals, letters, and other accounts, the migrants described the challenges of physical confinement, the experiences of living closely with people from different regions, religions, and classes, and the multi-faceted character of the ocean itself. Using their specific journey as his narrative arc, Stephen Berry’s A Path in the Mighty Waterstells the broader and hereto underexplored story of how people experienced their crossings to the New World in the eighteenth-century.
Boat Data Book: The Owners’ and Professionals’ Bible 7th edition by Ian Nicolson & Richard Nicolson – The Boat Data Book is a treasure trove of invaluable information for boat owners, designers, builders, surveyors, chandlers, and anyone maintaining their own boat. This seventh edition has been updated throughout and is in color for the first time. It contains more tables of lengths, widths, weights, and strengths as well as new data on a vast range of equipment from anchors to masts, propellers to gas cylinders, cleat sizes to winch bases, and hatches to bolts, bearings, cabling and piping.
Between Land and Sea: The Atlantic Coast and The Transformation of New England by Christopher L. Pastore – One of the largest estuaries on the North Atlantic coast, Narragansett Bay served as a gateway for colonial expansion in the 17th century and the birthplace of American industrialization in the late 18th century. Christopher Pastore presents an environmental history of this watery corner of the Atlantic world, beginning with the first European settlement in 1636 and ending with the dissolution of the Blackstone Canal Company in 1849.
Clipper Ships and the Golden Age of Sail: Races and Rivalries On The Nineteenth Century High Seas by Sam Jefferson – In the era of commercial sail, clipper ships were the ultimate expression of speed and grace. Racing out to the gold fields of America and Australia, and breaking speed records carrying tea back from China, the ships combined beauty with breathtaking performance. With more than 200 paintings and illustrations, and thrilling descriptions of the adventures and races on the water, this beautiful book brings the era vividly to life.
Legendary Sailboats Photography by Beken of Cowes – Since 1883, four generations of the Beken family have dedicated themselves to marine photography, creating the most artistic images of sailboats ever shot and even receiving a Royal Warrant of Excellence. This extraordinary selection of work from the Beken Marine Photography Archive traces the evolution of their unsurpassable style. For every rare and legendary picture, and every yacht, there’s a captivating accompanying story.
Lives in Ruins: Archaeologist and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble by Marilyn Johnson – The author of The Dead Beat and This Book is Overdue! turns her piercing eye and charming wit to the real-life avatars of Indiana Jones—the archaeologists who sort through the muck and mire of swamps, ancient landfills, volcanic islands, and other dirty places to reclaim history for us all.
Maps: Their Untold Story: Map Treasures from The National Archives by Rose Mitchell and Andrew Janes – A map is a snapshot of a place, a city, a nation or even the world at a given point in time–fascinating for what they tell us about the way our ancestors saw themselves, their neighbors and their place in the world. This magnificent collection, drawn from seven centuries of maps held in the National Archives at Kew, looks at a variety of maps, from those found in 14th-century manuscripts, through early estate maps, to sea charts, maps used in military campaigns, and maps from treaties.
The Mayflower by Kate Caffrey – This book reconstructs the voyage that linked European civilization and America, the facts behind what was to become the first legend of the American people, a pioneering journey that took nearly four centuries to come to life as it does in these pages.
Nautical Almanac 2015, Commercial Edition via United Kingdom Hydrographic Office – The cornerstone for all celestial navigation, listing the celestial bodies used for navigation, a sight reduction table, and other information valuable to the offshore navigator. The content of this edition is identical to the United States Naval Observatory edition.
Navigator’s Notebook: A Workbook for Marine Navigation by Anthony Palmiotti – This guide is intended for professional mariners and for those studying for the US Coast Guard license examinations. The result of the author’s experience teaching these subjects for many years, it addresses every major navigation problem with a short, accurate description, definitions of terms, and worked out examples. To help the reader the author has implemented real handouts from his classes, intended for students, as references, including worksheets for celestial and tide calculations.
Oil, Ice, and Bone: Arctic Whaler Nathaniel Ransom by Helen Hiller Frink – In 1860 14-year-old Nathaniel Ransom followed his five older brothers into the dank foc’sle of a whaling vessel. For 15 years he hunted 70-ton bowheads in Arctic waters, for the many uses of “bone,” blades of flexible baleen from the leviathan’s enormous jaw, raised its value, even as petroleum replaced whale oil as a source of lighting. In 1871 Ransom survived the loss of 32 whaling vessels in the frigid waters off Alaska’s Icy Cape. With him he carried a journal – and kept it, as he and his shipmates jettisoned weapons and warm clothing to save their very lives. His eyewitness account of whaling’s brutal slaughter and sudden losses is enriched by the author’s affection for an ancestor she discovered through his journals a century after his death.
Pirates of Colonial Newport by Gloria Merchant – The story of Newport, Rhode Island’s pirates began with war, ended with revolution and inspired swashbuckling legends for generations to come. From 1690 to the American Revolution, many of Newport’s fathers, husbands, and sons sailed under the black flag. They would return home from plundering the high seas to attend church and serve in public offices. The citizens of Newport welcomed pirates with their exotic goods and gold to spend. The community changed its tune when Newport’s prosperous shipping fleet was on the receiving end of piracy during the early 18th century. The locals who had once offered safe haven were suddenly more than pleased to cooperate with London’s hunt for pirates. Author Gloria Merchant delves into the fascinating history of Newport’s pirates from Thomas Tew and Captain Kidd’s buried treasure to the largest mass hanging of pirates in the colonies at Gravelly Point.
Ships, Clocks and Stars: The Quest for Longitude by Richard Dunn and Rebekah Higgitt – A tale of 18th-century invention and competition, commerce and conflict, this is a lively, illustrated, and accurate chronicle of the search to solve “the longitude problem,” the question of how to determine a ship’s position at sea—and one that changed the history of mankind. The accompanying exhibit from the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England is traveling beyond the U.K. for the first time, and Mystic Seaport is one of only three sites worldwide selected for the honor of presenting the exhibit. It will open at Mystic Seaport in fall 2015.
Steamboats on Long Island Sound by Norman J. Brouwer – Robert Fulton built the worlds first commercially successful steamboat in 1807, but it was not until after the War of 1812 that these vessels entered service along the Long Island Sound. For 127 years, between 1815 and 1942, steamboats provided a link between New York and cities in southern New England, greatly reducing travel time. Steamboats served the Connecticut cities of Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport, Derby, New Haven, Hartford, New London, Norwich, and Stonington. They also linked New York to the Rhode Island cities of Newport, Bristol, and Providence as well as the southern Massachusetts cities of Fall River and New Bedford.
Tall Ships Today: Their Remarkable Story by Nigel Rowe, Ron Dadswell, Colin Mudie & Michael Rauworth – Tall ships epitomize the glamour, majesty, and romance of the sea. This book–supported and endorsed by Sail Training International–is a celebration of tall ships today, shining a spotlight on the world’s most interesting and glamorous tall ships, the most spectacular regattas, races and adventurous passages, and the huge array of people who sail on them.
The Logbooks: Connecticut’s Slave Ships and Human Memory by Anne Farrow – In 1757, a sailing ship owned by an affluent Connecticut merchant sailed from New London to the tiny island of Bence in Sierra Leone, West Africa, to take on fresh water and slaves. On board was the owner’s son, on a training voyage to learn the trade. The Logbooks explores that voyage, and two others documented by that young man, to unearth new realities of Connecticut’s slave trade and question how we could have forgotten this part of our past so completely.
True Yankees: The South Seas & The Discovery of American Identity by Dane A. Morrison – Drawing on private journals, letters, ships’ logs, memoirs, and newspaper accounts, True Yankees traces America’s earliest encounters on a global stage through the exhilarating experiences of five Yankee seafarers. Merchant Samuel Shaw spent a decade scouring the marts of China and India for goods that would captivate the imaginations of his countrymen. Mariner Amasa Delano toured much of the Pacific hunting seals. Explorer Edmund Fanning circumnavigated the globe, touching at various Pacific and Indian Ocean ports of call. In 1829, 20-year-old Harriett Low reluctantly accompanied her merchant uncle and ailing aunt to Macao, where she recorded trenchant observations of expatriate life. And sea captain Robert Bennet Forbes’s last sojourn in Canton coincided with the eruption of the First Opium War.
The Voyage of the F. H. Moore and Other 19th-Century Whaling Accounts edited by Greg Bailey – In 1873, 21-year-old Sam Williams embarked on a whaling journey on the two-masted F.H. Moore–he steered one of the boats and threw the harpoon. He kept a personal log and reworked it into this never-before-published manuscript, now supplemented by additional research and relevant excerpts of the ship’s official logbook. Complementing this are excerpts from three other accounts of whaling voyages: Incidents of a Whaling Voyage by Francis Allyn Olmstead (1841); Etchings of a Whaling Cruise by J. Ross Browne (1846), an expose of the whaling industry; and The Gam: Being a Group of Whaling Stories by Capt. Charles Henry Robbins (1899), a personal story of nearly an entire life at sea. The four accounts open the 19th-century world of whaling to modern readers in a realistic and unromantic way.
Wood, Whiskey and Wine: A History of Barrels by Henry H. Work – Barrels—we rarely acknowledge their importance, but without them we would be missing out on some of the world’s finest beverages—most notably whiskies and wines—and of course for more than 2,000 years they’ve been used to store, transport, and age an incredibly diverse array of provisions around the globe. In this comprehensive and wide-ranging book, Henry Work tells the intriguing story of the significant and ever-evolving role wooden barrels have played during the last two millennia, revealing how the history of the barrel parallels that of technology at large.
Wreck of the Whale Ship Essex by Owen Chase – On the morning of November 20, 1820, in the Pacific Ocean, an enraged sperm whale rammed the Nantucket whaler Essex. As the boat began to sink, her crew of 30 had time only to collect some bread and water before pulling away in three frail open boats. Without charts, alone on the open seas, and thousands of miles from any known land, the sailors began their terrifying journey of survival. Ninety days later, after much suffering and death by starvation, intense heat, and dehydration, only eight men survived to reach land. One of them was Owen Chase, first mate of the ill-fated ship, whose account of the long and perilous journey has become a classic of endurance and human courage. The elements of his tale inspired Herman Melville (who was born the year the Essex sank) to write Moby-Dick. A gallant saga of the sea, this riveting narration of life and death, of man against the deep, will enthrall readers.
Published by Mystic Seaport
No Ordinary Being by Llewellyn Howland III – Few 20th-century Americans led a more creative, daring, eventful, and sometimes troubled life than that of the inventor, poet, aviation pioneer, naval architect, automotive engineer, and America’s Cup yacht designer W. Starling Burgess. Deeply researched, richly illustrated, and beautifully produced, this biography will have a particular appeal to recreational sailors, students of early aviation, and lovers of the New England coast, Newport, Long Island Sound, the Chesapeake Bay, the waters of Florida and the West Indies. The 472-page book was published by David R. Godine in association with the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Old Dartmouth Historical Society and Mystic Seaport. It is available for purchase at the bookstore or online.
The Strenuous Life of Harry Anderson by Roger Vaughan – A biography of Harry Anderson: sailor, educator, philanthropist, and predominant international yachting ambassador for nearly 70 years. Anderson’s long, active life provides a unique perspective on a fascinating period of American history. Published by Mystic Seaport.