By the Sea, On the Sea: Fiction and Non-fiction

There is something that draws many of us to the sea. This list offers books about the sea, what has happened both in it and around it.

Master and Commander

By Patrick O'Brian

Go to catalog

This, the first in the splendid series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against a thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of life aboard a man-of-war are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging, and the roar of broadsides as the great ships close in battle.

Reserve this title

Two Years Before the Mast

By Richard Henry Dana

Go to catalog

The narrative of the author's journey from Boston around the Cape Horn and landing at a port in the western coast of the United States. A classic work of non-fiction that inspired Melville.

Reserve this title

The Way of a Ship: A Square-Rigger Voyage in the Last Days of Sail

By Derek Lundy

Go to catalog

When, as a young man in the 1880s, Benjamin Lundy signed up for unimaginably hard duty aboard a...commercial sailing vessel -- one destined for a treacherous, white-knuckle passage around...Cape Horn -- he had no idea that his experience would also provide a window into an epochal transition that would fundamentally change man's relation to the sea.

Reserve this title