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By: George-Günther Freiherr von Forstner (1882-1940)

The Journal of Submarine Commander Von Forstner by George-Günther Freiherr von Forstner The Journal of Submarine Commander Von Forstner

The Journal of Submarine Commander Von Forstner is a graphic account of WWI submarine warfare. Forstner was the commander of German U-boat U-28. His journal, first published 1916, gives a gritty picture of daily life inside a submarine and details several torpedo attacks on Allied shipping. The 1917 translation of Forstner’s journal into English was unquestionably intended to bolster the Allied war effort. In the foreword, the translator states: “Nothing at the present day has aroused such fear as this invisible enemy, nor has anything outraged the civilized world like the tragedies caused by the German submarines...

By: H. De Vere Stacpoole (1863-1951)

The Blue Lagoon by H. De Vere Stacpoole The Blue Lagoon

Two shipwrecked children grow up on a South Pacific island. This beautiful story of adventure and innocent love was H.D. Stacpoole’s most popular work.Parents who may have seen the Hollywood film need not be anxious about the book's suitability for kids -- the author's treatment of adolescent sexuality is almost mystical and very mild. The story of The Blue Lagoon (1908) continues in The Garden of God (1923) and The Gates of Morning (1925). A ship’s doctor, Henry De Vere Stacpoole (1863–1951) published over 90 works of fiction, poetry, autobiography, and translation.

Book cover Beach of Dreams

Two sailors, Harbutt and Raft, discuss their plight as workers under the thumb of a wealthy owner. During a windstorm, Raft and his fellow hands must climb a mast of the three-master to control a rigging gone astray. Once they master that runaway rigging, they pause to watch another vessel in the distance. It's a ship many have seen before. We are introduced to the occupants of this new ship, the Gaston de Paris. The owner is Prince Selm, who loves the finest things in life, yet is drawn to the sea...

By: Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896)

Book cover The Pearl of Orr's Island

Go on a journey to the coast of Maine and immerse yourself in the picturesque community on Orr’s Island. See the raindrops glistening on the pine needles and hear the waves crashing on the rocks. This is a tale of romance, tragedy, crusty sea captains, an impetuous boy, a loving girl, complete with village gossips and twists in the plot.

By: Harriet T. Comstock (1860-1925)

Janet of the Dunes by Harriet T. Comstock Janet of the Dunes

Known primarily for her children's books, Harriet T. Comstock would occasionally depart from that genre and showcase her writing talent in adult prose as well. Janet of the Dunes is one such departure wherein she masterfully takes us into the lives of the bold men and women who tended those life saving stations along the seaboard which many a ship relied upon for their safety. They were simple people, large of heart and as close-knit as a tiny community can and must ever be, and they, above all else, took their duties very seriously...

By: Harry Collingwood (1851-1922)

For Treasure Bound by Harry Collingwood For Treasure Bound

For Treasure Bound is one of the earlier novels by Harry Collingwood (William Joseph Cosens Lancaster), published in 1897. We follow the hero, whose name is incidentally also Harry Collingwood, on a quest to the pacific islands for treasure and his marooned father, through all the perils he encounters on his journey, such as pirates, sea monsters, and beautiful young ladies. (Summary by Carolin)

Book cover Cruise of the Esmeralda

After his father died, Captain Saint Leger and his family are left destitute. However, the Saint Legers have a family secret: an ancestor is said to have buried a vast fortune in gold and jewels somewhere in the Eastern Seas. The catch: all directions are encrypted. Nevertheless, Captain Saint Leger decides to take a chance and sails east. A journey full of adventure begins, including pirates, storms and mutiny...

By: Henry Fielding (1707-1754)

Book cover Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon

Sailing voyage from England to Portugal in the mid Eighteenth Century, by one of the premier humorists, satirists, novelists and playwrights of his age. It was to be his last work, as his failing health proved unable to persevere much longer after the voyage.

By: Herman Melville (1819-1891)

Moby Dick by Herman Melville Moby Dick

“Call me Ishmael” is one of the most famous opening lines in American literature. With these words, opens one of the strangest and most gripping stories ever written about the sea and sea-faring. Moby Dick by Herman Melville is today considered one of the greatest novels written in America but paradoxically, it was a miserable failure when it first made its debut in 1851. Entitled Moby Dick or The Whale the book finally got its due after the author's death and is now regarded as a classic portrayal of mania and fatal obsession...

Typee by Herman Melville Typee

A whaling ship stops at a remote Polynesian island. The crew aboard is exhausted after a grueling six-month voyage in which they suffered ill-treatment and drudgery. Two men decide to abandon ship and hide on the island, living off the fruit of the land, until they can get on board a more conducive ship. However, to their consternation they discover that part of the island paradise is peopled by a savage and cannibalistic tribe called the Typees. As destiny would have it, they fall into the hands of the very people they dread...

Benito Cereno by Herman Melville Benito Cereno

On an island off the coast of Chile, Captain Amaso Delano, sailing an American sealer, sees the San Dominick, a Spanish slave ship, in obvious distress. Capt. Delano boards the San Dominick, providing needed supplies, and tries to learn from her aloof and disturbed captain, Benito Cereno, the story of how this ship came to be where she is. Dealing with racism, the slave trade, madness, the tension between representation and reality, and featuring at least one unreliable narrator, Melville's novella has both captivated and frustrated critics for decades.

Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas by Herman Melville Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas

Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas is Herman Melville's sequel to Typee, and, as such, was also autobiographical. After leaving Nuku Hiva, the main character ships aboard a whaling vessel which makes its way to Tahiti, after which there is a mutiny and the majority of the crew are imprisoned on Tahiti. The book follows the actions of the narrator as he explores Tahiti and remarks on their customs and way of life.Many sources incorrectly assert that Omoo is based on Melville's stay in the Marquesas. The novel is, in fact, exclusively based on his experiences in the Society Islands.

White Jacket, or The World in a Man-of-War by Herman Melville White Jacket, or The World in a Man-of-War

This is a tale based on Melville's experiences aboard the USS United States from 1843 to 1844. It comments on the harsh and brutal realities of service in the US Navy at that time, but beyond this the narrator has created for the reader graphic symbols for class distinction, segregation and slavery aboard this microcosm of the world, the USS Neversink. (Introduction by James K. White)

Book cover Redburn: His First Voyage

Melville wrote of some of his earliest experiences at sea in the story of Wellingborough Redburn, a wet-behind-the-ears youngster whose head was filled with dreams of foreign travel and adventure. In Redburn, the protagonist enlists for a stint as a seaman aboard Highlander, a merchant ship running between New York and London. As with many of Melville's works, this one is as much about class and race as it is about the sea.

By: Homer

The Odyssey by Homer The Odyssey

A wandering king who's a war-hero doomed to roam the earth by a vengeful God, a plethora of fantastic experiences, a wife battling the invasion of suitors who wish to replace her missing husband, a son in search of his father - the Odyssey is a rich tapestry of incredible experiences and unforgettable characters. A must-read classic for anyone who wants to understand the fundamentals of Western mythology, it is a sequel to the Illiad which recounts the magnificent saga of the Trojan War. The Odyssey continues on, describing the trials and tribulations of the Greeks under the leadership of Odysseus...

By: Howard Pyle (1853-1911)

Book cover Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates

Swashbuckling tales of legendary pirates, buccaneers, and marooners, terrors of the Spanish Main.

By: Jack London (1876-1916)

The Sea Wolf by Jack London The Sea Wolf

A maritime classic acclaimed for its exciting adventure, The Sea Wolf offers a thrilling tale of life at sea, while exploring the many difficulties that may erupt on board a ship captained by a brutally hedonistic and controlling individual. Additionally, the psychological adventure novel covers several themes including mutiny, existentialism, individualism, brutality, and the intrinsic will to survive. The novel sets into motion when its protagonist, the soft and cultivated scholar Humphrey van Weyden, is witness to a precarious collision between his ferry and another ship...

The Mutiny of the Elsinore by Jack London The Mutiny of the Elsinore

This is the story of a voyage of a sailing ship from Baltimore to Seattle, east-to-west around Cape Horn in the winter. It is set in 1913 and the glory days of “wooden ships and iron men” are long over. The Elsinore is a four-masted iron sailing vessel carrying a cargo of 5000 tons of coal. She has a “bughouse” crew of misfits and incompetents. This book was published in 1915 and some actions of some of the characters seem odd to us today. There is romance, but it is strangely platonic. Two important characters disappear with no real explanation...

Book cover Stories of Ships and the Sea

5 Exciting short stories by one of Americas best story tellers

By: James Brendan Connolly (1868-1957)

The Trawler by James Brendan Connolly The Trawler

The Trawler is a short story revolving around the trying life of a group of bank fishermen based in Gloucester. Skipper Hugh Glynn worked his men hard; some said too hard, and Arthur Snow was one who had paid the ultimate price.Arthur's close friend Simon Kippen decided he'd ask to take the place of his fallen friend aboard Hugh Glynn's vessel as a dory mate, and from there we have a tale of the open seas between Gloucester and Newfoundland where perhaps only the names and locations have changed from the countless stories of similar nature; the key being that this one, however, is first hand.

The U-Boat Hunters by James Brendan Connolly The U-Boat Hunters

The author takes the listener on a tour of various ships used in WW1. He discusses the boats and the seamen who occupy them and their encounters with the German U-boats. It is a collection of short stories, each one complete, about them all. The author was also an Olympic athlete; winning a bronze, silver and gold medal in the Athens Olympics of 1896 and a silver in the Paris games of 1900.

By: James Cook

A Voyage Towards the South Pole and Round the World by James Cook A Voyage Towards the South Pole and Round the World

Having, on his first voyage, discovered Australia, Cook still had to contend with those who maintained that the Terra Australians Incognita (the unknown Southern Continent) was a reality. To finally settle the issue, the British Admiralty sent Cook out again into the vast Southern Ocean with two sailing ships totalling only about 800 tons. Listen as Cook, equipped with one of the first chronometers, pushes his small vessel not merely into the Roaring Forties or the Furious Fifties but becomes the first explorer to penetrate the Antarctic Circle, reaching an incredible Latitude 71 degrees South, just failing to discover Antarctica. (Introduction by Shipley)

By: Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)

Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau Confessions

Considered to mark the emergence of a new literary form, the unvarnished autobiography, Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau was first published in 1782, four years after his death. The philosopher and educationist whose political philosophy is credited with having inspired the French Revolution, Rousseau was a man of immense wit, talent and depth of thinking. His skill in art, music, literature and cooking along with his magnificent body of work in philosophy, politics, education and sociology have made him a legendary figure...

By: John C. Hutcheson (1840-1897)

The Ghost Ship by John C. Hutcheson The Ghost Ship

This book intentionally veers in and out of the supernatural, as the title implies. The officers get more and more bewildered as they work out their position, and yet again encounter the same vessel going in an impossible direction. Having warned you of this, I must say that it is a well-written book about life aboard an ocean-going steamer at about the end of the nineteenth century.

By: John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)

Book cover Frost Spirit

LibriVox volunteers bring you 11 recordings of The Frost Spirit by John Greenleaf Whittier. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for October 28, 2012.John Greenleaf Whittier was an influential American Quaker poet. He is considered one of the Fireside Poets and was influenced by Robert Burns.

By: John Howell (1788-1863)

Book cover The Life and Adventures of Alexander Selkirk

This work was the true story of Alexander Selkirk (1676 to December 13, 1721), a Scottish sailor who was employed in a number of different trades during his early life. As a young man, Selkirk learned the skills of tanning and shoemaking, and later became a buccaneer (a government-sanctioned pirate) on the Cinque Ports, working his way up to the position of ship's sailing master or navigator. But in the case of Selkirk, his experiences would eventually help him to survive his isolation on a deserted island in the Juan Fernández archipelago, off the coast of Chile, where he spent 52 months before being rescued...

By: John Masefield (1878-1967)

Book cover Selected Public Domain Poems

Maritime and metaphysical verse by John Masefield, English poet and author, Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1930 until his death.

By: John R. Hale

Famous Sea Fights by John R. Hale Famous Sea Fights

I propose to tell in non-technical and popular language the story of some of the most remarkable episodes in the history of sea power. I shall begin with the first sea-fight of which we have a detailed history—the Battle of Salamis (B.C. 480), the victory by which Themistocles the Athenian proved the soundness of his maxim that “he who commands the sea commands all.” I shall end with the last and greatest of naval engagements, the Battle of Tsu-shima, an event that reversed the long experience of victory won by West over East, which began with Salamis more than two thousand years ago...

By: Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness

First published in Blackwood’s magazine as a three part serial in 1899 and published in 1902, Heart of Darkness centers on the experiences of protagonist Charles Marlow as he is assigned the duty to transport ivory down the Congo River. Conrad cleverly uses foreshadowing as a technique to convey the novella’s themes of hypocritical imperialism, the contradictory views on civilized as opposed to barbaric societies, racism, and the conflict between reality and darkness. Set in the second half of the nineteenth century, the story begins with the introduction of protagonist Charles Marlow, who is on board a boat harbored in the River Thames...

Typhoon by Joseph Conrad Typhoon

First published in 1902 as a serial in Pall Mall Magazine, the adventure novel follows the disrupting events onboard a steamboat after it takes a perilous course at sea, which triggers a state of mayhem onboard the steamer. Furthermore, the incident prompts the crew to gradually reveal their true nature which is brought to light in the time of crisis. Interestingly, the tale is believed to possess some autobiographical elements taken from Conrad’s own experiences at sea, which provide the novel with a strong foundation, as he effectively uses personification, imagery, and descriptive language to accurately illustrate the danger and chaos instigated by a powerful storm at sea...

The Mirror of the Sea by Joseph Conrad The Mirror of the Sea

The Mirror of the Sea is a collection of autobiographical essays first published in various magazines 1904-6. 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.”

Nostromo by Joseph Conrad Nostromo

Señor Gould is a native Costaguanan of English descent who owns the silver-mining concession in Sulaco. He is tired of the political instability in Costaguana and its concomitant corruption, and puts his weight behind the Ribierist project, which he believes will finally bring stability to the country after years of misrule and tyranny by self-serving dictators. Instead, the silver mine and the wealth it has generated become a magnet for local warlords to fight over, plunging Costaguana into a new round of chaos...


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