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By: Robert Barr (1849-1912)

Book cover In a Steamer Chair and Other Stories

Thirteen short stories by one of the most famous writers in his day. Robert Barr was a British Canadian short story writer and novelist, born in Glasgow, Scotland. In London of the 1890s Barr became a more prolific author - publishing a book a year - and was familiar with many of the best selling authors of his day, including Bret Harte and Stephen Crane. Most of his literary output was of the crime genre, then quite in vogue. When Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories were becoming well known,...

By: Robert C. Leslie (1826-1901)

A Waterbiography by Robert C. Leslie A Waterbiography

Robert C. Leslie (1826-1901) was an artist and writer who, at an early age fell in love with the sea, the sea of Sail, not of Steam. He describes the progression of this love from wave to wave and boat to boat. Leslie sailed during the Great Age of Sail before Industrialism had taken possession of Britain. Leslie comments on the early days of singlehanded small boat sailing: “When I first began boating in the early forties[1840s], what is now called single-handed cruising was almost unknown among amateurs…...

By: Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson Treasure Island

A heady mix of thrills, mystery, atmosphere and memorable characters, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson is a classic adventure story that has enthralled both young and old alike ever since it was first published in 1883. Right from the racy opening chapter where the young hero Jim Hawkins encounters a mysterious guest, Billy Bones, at the Admiral Benbow Inn run by his widowed mother, the tale carries the reader off on an edge-of-the-seat roller-coaster ride of non-stop action and drama....

By: Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne (1850-1894)

Book cover The Ebb-Tide

Three men down on their luck in Tahiti agree to ship out on a vessel whose officers have died of smallpox. Their desperate venture inspires them to a further idea: they will steal the schooner and its cargo of champagne, sell them, and live a plentiful life. The thought is intoxicating... and so is the cargo, which they sample. Inattention nearly brings them to grief in a sudden storm. This sobering experience is followed by another - apparently the dead officers had a similar ambition! - and their dreams of riches vanish...

By: Robert Michael Ballantyne (1825-1894)

Fighting the Whales by Robert Michael Ballantyne Fighting the Whales

A fatherless boy joins the crew of a whaling ship in order to earn a living for himself and his mother. Beyond being a fascinating depiction of a now-alien time, occupation, and culture, it’s also a rousing adventure story. One is left with the impression that hunting and catching a whale in a sailing ship was akin to you or me being stalked, ambushed, and killed by a shoebox full of mice.

Fast in the Ice by Robert Michael Ballantyne Fast in the Ice

At the age of 16 Ballantyne went to Canada and was six years in the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company. His rule in writing, being in every case, was to write as far as possible from personal knowledge of the scenes he described. In this book he details the lives of the crew as they must overwinter in the frozen north including their meetings with Eskimos and bears and their struggles with disease. This is a realistic account of what life was like for the explorers of the Arctic.

The Madman And The Pirate by Robert Michael Ballantyne The Madman And The Pirate

R. M. Ballantyne (April 24, 1825 – February 8, 1894) was a Scottish juvenile fiction writer. Born Robert Michael Ballantyne in Edinburgh, he was part of a famous family of printers and publishers. At the age of 16 he went to Canada and was six years in the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company. He returned to Scotland in 1847, and published his first book the following year, Hudson’s Bay: or, Life in the Wilds of North America. For some time he was employed by Messrs Constable, the publishers, but in 1856 he gave up business for the profession of literature, and began the series of adventure stories for the young with which his name is popularly associated.

Book cover Charlie to the Rescue

Charlie Brooke is always rescuing others, and sometimes even himself! His latest rescue, though, could turn out to be fatal...

Book cover Island Queen

The story of Dominic, Otto and Pauline Rigonda, three siblings who are blown onto an island after being shipwrecked, and are later joined by the immigrant passengers and crew of a ship that is wrecked on the same island. When the question of government comes up, the little colony chooses a queen, and they work on improving the island for some time, despite internal dissensions, and an attack by savages. But eventually the colony encounters natural forces it cannot resist, and the queen and her family return to England, hopefully to live "happily ever after".

By: Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling Captains Courageous

Real men don’t take guff from snotty kids. Neither does Disko Troop, skipper of the “We’re Here”, a fishing schooner out of Gloucester, Massachusetts, when his crew fishes Harvey Cheyne out of the Atlantic. There’s no place on the Grand Banks for bystanders, so Harvey is press-ganged into service as a replacement for a man lost overboard and drowned. Harvey is heir to a vast fortune, but his rescuers believe none of what he tells them of his background. Disko won’t take the boat to port until it is full of fish, so Harvey must settle in for a season at sea...

By: Samuel Merwin (1874-1936)

Book cover The Merry Anne

This 1904 maritime adventure is set in the Great Lakes region, upon water and in wood. Our hero is caught in a smuggling scheme and may lose his boat and his sweetheart. With a fast pace and interesting plot, the story is made realistic with very modern "bad-guys".

By: Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

An exciting, compelling, and eerie ballad, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner focuses on the uncanny experiences of a sailor who has returned from a long sea voyage that has left him with a heavy burden to bear. Furthermore, the poem explores numerous themes including retribution, suffering, salvation, torment, nature, spirituality, and supernaturalism. The poem opens with the appearance of its mysterious protagonist, a skinny old man with a curious glittering eye, as he stops a young man who is on his way to attend a wedding...

By: Sara Ware Bassett (1872-1968)

Flood Tide by Sara Ware Bassett Flood Tide

Willie Spence may have been a bit eccentric by most standards, but he had a knack for creating gadgets in his small workshop at his home on Cape Cod. Whenever he was 'ketched' by an 'idee' he had to see it to completion, and always did. His small cottage on the Cape had become a labyrinth of string and wires tacked here and there so as to make life a bit challenging for his housekeeper Celestina. But she and most everyone else among the coastal towns and villages loved the old man for all his eccentricities as Willie spent his waning years just waiting for his ship to come in.

By: Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909)

Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett Country of the Pointed Firs

The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896) is considered Jewett’s finest work, described by Henry James as her “beautiful little quantum of achievement.” Despite James’s diminutives, the novel remains a classic. Because it is loosely structured, many critics view the book not as a novel, but a series of sketches; however, its structure is unified through both setting and theme. Jewett herself felt that her strengths as a writer lay not in plot development or dramatic tension, but in character development...

Deephaven by Sarah Orne Jewett Deephaven

Sarah Orne Jewett is best known for her clean and clear descriptive powers that at once elevate common-place daily events to something remarkable, and lend dignity and grace to the most humble and homely human character. In Deephaven, go with her on vacation to an unforgettable seaside village where time runs slower and small pleasures are intensified. Much space is given to outdoor rambles and sights and events of daily living that draw you into another era. Jewett’s loving and gentle descriptions of the people and life of Deephaven will make you sorry when the book is over, and long to be able to find that village for yourself.

By: Sir John Barrow (1764-1848)

Eventful History of the Mutiny and Piratical Seizure of H.M.S. Bounty by Sir John Barrow Eventful History of the Mutiny and Piratical Seizure of H.M.S. Bounty

On December 31 1787, the HMS Bounty, a small sailing vessel embarked from Spithead Harbor, England bound for Tahiti. Her mission was sponsored by the Royal Society in London and aimed at picking up breadfruit plants and fruit from Tahiti and conveying them to the West Indies, where it was hoped they would take root and become a commercial crop. The Bounty was an old ship with a young captain and 46 young officers. The captain's cabin was converted into a potting shed for the expected breadfruit cargo...

By: Sir Stephen King-Hall

Diary of a U-boat Commander by Sir Stephen King-Hall Diary of a U-boat Commander

The infamous U boats deployed by Germany in the two World Wars have spawned several works of fiction and non-fiction. These deadly vessels were not just efficient and lethal killing machines, but they were also used very effectively in economic blockades. They were positioned primarily to obstruct the conveyance of fuel, food and other essential supplies which the enemy needed to sustain the war effort. In the Diary of a U Boat Commander, the author, Stephen King-Hall draws upon his vast personal experiences as a naval officer in World War I...

By: Stanton H. King

Dog-Watches at Sea by Stanton H. King Dog-Watches at Sea

Stanton H. King was from Barbados and followed his brothers to sea at the age of twelve in 1880. He spent only twelve years at sea for reasons given in this book. Thereafter, he became associated with the Sailors’ Haven, Boston, Massachusetts and became its director. He was also a renowned Chantie singer and, in 1918, King’s Book Of Chanties was published. King views the sailing life from “before the mast”, that is, through the eyes of the common sailor.

By: Susan Coolidge (1835-1905)

Book cover Verses

Susan Coolidge was the pen name of Sarah Chauncey Woolsey, who is best known for her What Katy Did series. This is the first of three volumes of her verse.

By: Thomas Hood (1799-1845)

Book cover Workhouse Clock

There were scarcely any events in the life of Thomas Hood. One condition there was of too potent determining importance—life-long ill health; and one circumstance of moment—a commercial failure, and consequent expatriation. Beyond this, little presents itself for record in the outward facts of this upright and beneficial career, bright with genius and coruscating with wit, dark with the lengthening and deepening shadow of death.

By: Thornton Jenkins Hains

Mr. Trunnell, Mate of the Ship “Pirate” by Thornton Jenkins Hains Mr. Trunnell, Mate of the Ship “Pirate”

This is the tale of a perilous voyage aboard a clipper ship told by the second mate. He looks up to Trunnell, the first mate, who somehow manages to hold things together between a murdering former captain, a captain who may not actually be a captain, and a crew inclined to mutiny. This all leads to a surprising and satisfying ending. The author, Hains, wrote frequently of the sea. He is the author who (under a pen name) had a story on the newsstands about a liner hitting an iceberg and sinking, while Titanic was doing precisely that!

By: Tobias Smollett (1721-1771)

Book cover Adventures of Roderick Random

I am Roderick Random. This is the contemporary story of my struggle against the adversity of orphan-hood, poverty, press gangs, bloody duels, rival fortune hunters, and the challenge to be well-dressed through it all. In the course of recounting my adventures to you, dear reader, I will give you a front row seat to the characters of English eighteenth century life including highway robbers, womanizing monks, debt-laden gallants, lecherous corrupt officials, effeminate sea captains, bloodthirsty surgeons, and my dear friend Miss Williams, a reformed prostitute...

By: Upton Sinclair (1878-1968)

A Prisoner of Morro by Upton Sinclair A Prisoner of Morro

Upton Sinclair, born in 1878 was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American author. He wrote over 90 books in many genres. Best known for his muckraking novel, The Jungle, Sinclair also wrote adventure fiction. Many of these works were written under the pseudonym, Ensign Clark Fitch, U.S.N. A Prisoner of Morrow, published in 1898 when Sinclair was but 20 years old, is one of these efforts. The period for this work is the ten-week Spanish–American War which occurred in 1898. Revolts against Spanish rule had been prevalent for decades in Cuba and were closely watched by Americans...

By: Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

Toilers of the Sea by Victor Hugo Toilers of the Sea

This is the story of a man’s monumental struggle against nature, to win the hand of the woman he loves, and surmount every difficulty that Nature puts in his path

By: Wilkie Collins (1824-1889)

The Frozen Deep by Wilkie Collins The Frozen Deep

The Frozen Deep is a story of a love triangle between Clara, Frank and Richard, spiced up with dangerous expeditions, mysterious visions and life-threatening circumstances. The end is as surprising and unexpected as we are (or are not) accustomed to in Collins' books.

By: William Bligh (1754-1817)

A Voyage to the South Sea by William Bligh A Voyage to the South Sea

A Voyage to the South Sea, undertaken by command of His Majesty, for the purpose of conveying the Bread-fruit tree to the West Indies, in His Majesty’s ship The Bounty, commanded by Lieutenant William Bligh. Including an account of the Mutiny on board the said ship, and the subsequent voyage of part of the crew, in the ship’s boat, from Tofoa, one of the Friendly Islands, to Timor, a Dutch settlement in the East Indies.

By: William Clark Russell (1844-1911)

Abandoned by William Clark Russell Abandoned

As she walks up the aisle to her waiting husband, a young bride undergoes a sudden change of heart. She goes through the marriage ceremony in a daze, but refuses to talk to her new husband, a seafaring man. Her family is stunned and bewildered. After the ceremony, the bride stays shut in her bedroom. The bewildered groom departs in despair. The next day, the family receives news that the groom has been mortally injured in an accident. The bride rushes to his side on board a ship. When she enters his cabin, instead of a bedridden invalid, she finds him sitting strong and hearty at his desk...

The Frozen Pirate by William Clark Russell The Frozen Pirate

Sailing adventure with storms, icebergs, shipwrecks, treasure, and the reawakening of a pirate frozen in suspended animation for nearly fifty years

Book cover Marriage at Sea

Herbert Barclay is desperately in love with Grace Bellassys, but a number of factors stand in the way of their happiness, the biggest of which is the person of Lady Amelia Roscoe, Grace's guardian. Lady Amelia has several objections to the union, one of which is the fact that Herbert is not a Papist, and to separate the two young people, she has sent Grace to school in France. The two decide to elope, but this is just the start of the adventure...

Book cover Mystery of the 'Ocean Star' - A Collection of Maritime Sketches

This is a collection of short stories of mystery and romance, set at sea, in the times of the great sea voyages.

By: William Hope Hodgson (1877-1918)

Book cover Boats of the 'Glen Carrig'

Eighteenth-century sailors adrift in a lifeboat encounter strange lands and weird creatures in their search for home. A creepy tale of nautical adventure.


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