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Maritime Bookstore

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The Maritime Bookstore at Mystic Seaport Museum offers one of the nation’s most comprehensive selection of maritime books, including more than 90 of the Museum’s publications, new titles, used books, rare volumes, pictorial books, and magazines. Additionally, the bookstore offers a DVD viewing area, a children’s section, and free wireless Internet.

“I was so impressed with your bookstore.  It is the largest and most well stocked maritime bookstore I have seen. I wanted to take home every second book, and I hope I get back again soon for another try.” – Francis Carroll

Bookstore Subjects

Subjects include: Mystic Seaport Museum 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 (with many back issues available for $1), and more than 200 youth titles.

New and Noteworthy

Mystic Seaport Museum: Official GuidebookWith all of the changes that have taken place on Greenmanville Avenue in recent years, it was time to publish a new guidebook that reflects everything that is the Mystic Seaport Museum of today. That book, Mystic Seaport Museum: Official Guidebook (Beckon Books, 145 pages), is now complete and available at the Museum Bookstore.

The book can function as a guide to a visit, but it will probably appeal most as a souvenir or gift as the depth of content goes beyond the basics of a day at the Museum. More than 30 pages have been added to the Guidebook, many of which are dedicated to expanded chapters on the history of the institution, its buildings, and its historic vessels.

There are also chapters on the exhibits, the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard, the many education programs, the daily activities and demonstrations, and the “back-of-house” functions of the Museum, including the G.W. Blunt White Library and the curatorial activities in the Collections Research Center.

The highlight of the book is the photography. Completely re-illustrated with historic images from the collections and stunning contemporary photographs by staff photographers Andy Price and Joe Michael, the book shows the Mystic Seaport Museum grounds at its best.

Christmas Memories Book by Lynn Anderson – An all-time Mystic Seaport Museum bestseller is back in stock, Christmas Memories Book! This 20-year diary has fine calligraphy and drawings by Lynn Anderson. Each year features a pen and ink drawing of a different 19th-century tradition, accompanied by an explanation of the holiday custom featured. Record visitors, special Christmas cards, family photographs, and other memories. 112 pages. 198 illustrations. To order, please call the main store at 860.572.5385 or the bookstore at 860.572.5386. Christmas Memories Book can also be ordered at shop.mysticseaport.org


Henny and Her Boat: Righteousness and Resistance in Nazi Occupied Denmark by Howard S. Veisz – “Henny and Her Boat” provides a fresh perspective on the Danes’ defense of their Jewish countrymen during years of Nazi occupation and, ultimately, their heroic rescue of the Danish Jews on a fleet of fishing boats and other small craft. Leo Goldberger, a leading expert on the Danish rescue, hails the book as an “educational gem,” which describes the rescue in “riveting detail” by following one participant’s rise from youthful bystander to rescuer to armed resister. Henny Sinding, daughter of a Danish navy officer, teamed with a fledgling resistance group to save three hundred Jews on a lighthouse supply boat named Gerda III. Each night for a month Henny bravely escorted Jews from secret rendezvous points to a dockside warehouse and then slipped them past Nazi sentries into Gerda III’s cargo hold. Gerda III’s crew completed the escape—motoring daily past German warships and mines to unoccupied Sweden. The story of Gerda III — which is on display at Mystic Seaport Museum — and the people associated with it — Henny, Mix, the dashing young resistance fighter whom she loved, and many giants of the Danish resistance — epitomizes the story of a nation that rose from a humbling surrender to battle the Nazis and hand the Gestapo its most glaring defeat.

Oceans Ventured by John Lehman

Oceans Ventured by John Lehman – When Ronald Reagan took office in January 1981, the United States and NATO were losing the Cold War. The USSR had superiority in conventional weapons and manpower in Europe, and had embarked on a massive program to gain naval preeminence. But Reagan already had a plan to end the Cold War without armed conflict. Reagan led a bipartisan Congress to restore American command of the seas by building the navy back to 600 major ships and 15 aircraft carriers. He adopted a bold new strategy to deploy the growing fleet to northern waters around the periphery of the Soviet Union and demonstrate that the NATO fleet could sink Soviet submarines, defeat Soviet bomber and missile forces, and strike aggressively deep into the Soviet homeland if the USSR attacked NATO in Central Europe. New technology in radars, sensors, and electronic warfare made ghosts of American submarines and surface fleets. The United States proved that it could effectively operate carriers and aircraft in the ice and storms of Arctic waters, which no other navy had attempted. The Soviets, suffocated by this naval strategy, were forced to bankrupt their economy trying to keep pace. Shortly thereafter the Berlin Wall fell, and the USSR disbanded. In Oceans Ventured, John Lehman reveals for the first time the untold story of the naval operations that played a major role in winning the Cold War.

Navy Board Ship Models by Simon Stephens and Nick Ball – From about the middle of the 17th century the Navy’s administrators began to commission models of their ships that were accurately detailed and, for the first time, systematically to scale. These developed a recognized style, which included features like the unplanked lower hull with a simplified pattern of framing that emphasized the shape of the underwater body. Exquisitely crafted, these were always rare and highly prized objects – indeed, Samuel Pepys expressed a profound desire to own one – and today they are widely regarded as the acme of the ship modeler’s art. As benefits its subject, Navy Board Ship Models is visually striking, with numerous color photographs that make it as attractive as it is informative to anyone with an interest in model making or historic ships.

Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book 2020 by Jenny White Kuliesis, Peter Kuliesis, and Robert Eldridge White Jr. – The indispensable resource for East Coast boaters, the Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book 2020 has tides and currents for ports from Nova Scotia to Key West. Often referred to as the mariner’s bible, Eldridge has been published since 1875, giving boaters valuable information on GPS and electronic navigation, marine weather, Federal regulations, navigation rules, coastal piloting tips, and emergency first aid. As a back-up for electronics, Eldridge is a vital reference. Readers will be further rewarded with useful articles on all things maritime. The book is also available on our web store.

Sailing True North: Ten Admirals and the Voyage of Character by Admiral James Stavridis USN (RET.) – In Sailing True North, James Stavridis offers an intimate, human accounting: the lessons of leadership and character contained in the lives and careers of history’s most significant naval commanders. The tale of these 10 admirals is a collection of the greatest imaginable sea stories, spanning 2,500 years from ancient Greece to the 21st century. Stavridis offers in his book a compass that can help us navigate the story of our lives, wherever that voyage might take us.


Three Sheets to the Wind: The Nautical Origins of Everyday Expressions by Cynthia Barrett – The origins of a remarkable number of everyday words and phrases are anchored in our seafaring past. Three Sheets to the Wind: The Nautical Origins of Everyday Expressions is an entertaining compilation revealing the maritime roots of common English expressions. The original “slush fund” was the fatty scraps from boiled meat that the ship’s cook secretly stashed away to sell at port to candle makers. The man who originally “turned a blind eye” was Admiral Nelson. In one of Naval history’s most famous acts of insubordination, Nelson, in the heat of battle, raised his telescope to his blind eye and announced he could not see the signal flag commanding him to break off action. This book is the perfect companion for etymology lovers, factophiles, ocean dreamers, and the conversationally curious. Three Sheets to the Wind features 200 words and expressions that are nautically inspired.

The Seven Seat: A True Story of Rowing, Revenge, and Redemption by Daniel J. Boyne – Dan Boyne, Harvard University coach and acclaimed author of three previous books on rowing, tells a humorous story of his first year in a freshman crew, including a sub plot of personal redemption against an insufferable football player who has bullied him throughout high school. After being accepted at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, Boyne decides to take up rowing, a sport that takes place far off campus, on the adventurous waters of the Connecticut River. There, he quickly experiences the unique rigors, rewards, and colorful personalities of the sport, not knowing that his nemesis has decided to try out for crew at rival school Coast Guard Academy. As racing season approaches, Boyne becomes part of an exceptional freshman lightweight boat, with high hopes to win the National Championships in Philadelphia that year, but his final fears are realized when he discovers that his old high school archenemy is also doing well and rowing in the very same position as he is – the seven seat.


In Celebration of the Charles W. Morgan

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 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.


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.

Mystic Seaport Publications

L. Francis Herreshoff: Yacht Designer Book CoverL. Francis Herreshoff: Yacht Designer by Roger C. Taylor – This book is the first of two volumes to chronicle the life and work of the most remarkable yacht designer of his time. The author was given access to the L. Francis Herreshoff Collection at Mystic Seaport Museum and brings Herreshoff’s personality to life, with its artistic and scientific genius, prejudices, omniscience, shyness, quiet friendliness, inward pain, and generosity. He presents a gallery of plans and photographs of Herreshoff’s  yachts, with expert descriptions and commentary on the details of his designs.

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 Museum.