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By: Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823-1911)

Book cover Tales of the Enchanted Islands of the Atlantic

The sea has always been, by the mystery of its horizon, the fury of its storms, and the variableness of the atmosphere above it, the foreordained land of romance. In all ages and with all sea-going races there has always been something especially fascinating about an island amid the ocean. It's very existence has for all explorers an air of magic. The order of the tales in the present work follows roughly the order of development, giving first the legends which kept near the European shore, and then those which, like St...

By: Various

Book cover Sea Stories

Most of us have passed through a period of life during which we have ardently longed to be, if not actually a rover, a buccaneer, or a pirate, at least and really a sailor! To run away to sea has been the misdirected ambition of many a youngster, and some lads there are who have realized their desire to their sorrow. The boy who has not cherished in his heart and exhibited in his actions at sometime or other during his youthful days, a love of ships and salt water, is fit for—well, he is fit for the shore, and that is the worst thing a sailor could say about him! (From the introduction, by Cyrus Townsend Brady)

By: Aaron Smith (?-1862)

The Atrocities of the Pirates by Aaron Smith The Atrocities of the Pirates

In 1822, Aaron Smith, a young English seaman, was taken captive by Cuban pirates when his ship was boarded en route from Jamaica to England. Forced to work as a navigator and as a member of pirate boarding parties, he witnessed unspeakable acts of murder and torture. Befriended by a young Cuban woman, he managed to escape with his life, but was arrested as a pirate in Havana and sent back to England in chains. There, he found himself on trial for his life at the Old Bailey courthouse—with the attorney general himself leading the prosecution. Smith's dramatic account of his personal experience is a brutally honest, unromanticized [sic] look at piracy in the 19th century.

By: Albert Kinross (1870-1929)

The Fearsome Island by Albert Kinross The Fearsome Island

No ordinary sailor's tale, this. Based allegedly on the real experiences of Silas Fordred, Master Mariner of Hythe, this is a story of shipwreck on an uncharted island and his supernatural adventures there with a witch, a hairy man, and various devilish devices and traps. The author, Kinross, adds an appendix purporting to explain the marvels which Fordred encountered.Kinross claims to have stolen the sailor's original account from Hythe Town Hall while helping the Town Clerk to sort newly discovered old papers...

By: Alexandre Exquemelin (c. 1645-1707)

The Pirates of Panama by Alexandre Exquemelin The Pirates of Panama

This volume was originally written in Dutch by John Esquemeling, and first published in Amsterdam in 1678 under the title of De Americaeneche Zee Roovers. It immediately became very popular and this first hand history of the Buccaneers of America was soon translated into the principal European languages. The first English edition was printed in 1684. Esquemeling served the Buccaneers in the capacity of barber-surgeon, and was present at all their exploits. Little did he suspect that his first hand observations would some day be cherished as the only authentic and true history of the Buccaneers and Marooners of the Spanish Main...

By: Anonymous

Eirik the Red's Saga by Anonymous Eirik the Red's Saga

In this saga, the events that led to Eirik the Red’s banishment to Greenland are chronicled, as well as Leif Eirikson’s discovery of Vinland the Good (a place where wheat and grapes grew naturally), after his longboat was blown off-course. By geographical details, this place is surmised to be present-day Newfoundland, and is likely the first European discovery of the American mainland, some five centuries before Christopher Columbus’s journey.

By: Ben Ames Williams

All the Brothers Were Valiant by Ben Ames Williams All the Brothers Were Valiant

Joel Shore, newly appointed captain of the whaling ship Nathan Ross following his brother’s apparent demise as captain of the same ship, elects to make his first cruise as captain to the very location where his brother had last been seen – the Gilbert Islands, in order to try to learn more about what happened to his brother. The focus of this tale is of that voyage halfway around the globe and the adventures which he and his crew encounter.

By: Charles Clark Munn (1848-1917)

Pocket Island by Charles Clark Munn Pocket Island

Along the coast of Maine are littered thousands of small islands. One such, named 'Pocket Island' by the locals was so called because of a pocket formed twice daily by the waning of the tides. The coast of Maine holds many secrets and legends, and Pocket Island was no exception. Subtitled "A Story of Country Life in New England", this story holds such varied and fascinating glimpses into the lives of a few individuals, and is not limited to merely a story of ghosts, of war, of barn dances, friendship, tales of rum-runners, smugglers, and seafarers...

By: Charles Dickens (1812-1870)

Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens Little Dorrit

Originally published in monthly installments between 1855 and 1857, the novel focuses on the various forms of imprisonment, both physical and psychological, while also concentrating on dysfunctional family ties. Accordingly, Dickens avidly criticizes the social deficiencies of the time including injustice, social hypocrisy, the austerity of the Marshalsea debtors’ prison, and bureaucratic inefficiency. The novel kicks off with the introduction of William Dorrit, the oldest prisoner in the Marshalsea prison, who is also referred to as The Father of the Marshalsea...

The Wreck of the Golden Mary by Charles Dickens The Wreck of the Golden Mary

A short story of a ship wreck in 1851 trying to round Cape Horn on its way to the California gold fields. Poignant and well written. (

By: Charles Ellms

The Pirates Own Book by Charles Ellms The Pirates Own Book

Authentic Narratives of the Most Celebrated Sea Robbers.

By: Charles Johnson

Book cover A General History of the Pyrates

A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the most notorious Pyrates is a 1724 book containing biographies of contemporary pirates. It's author uses the name Captain Charles Johnson, generally considered a pseudonym. The real identity of the author was thought by some scholars to be Daniel Defoe, although this has since been disputed. The publisher Nathaniel Mist or somebody working for him are other suggested authors. In the first volume, "Johnson" sticks fairly close to the available sources, though he embellishes the stories somewhat...

By: Daniel Defoe (1659-1731)

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe is perhaps the most famous castaway of all time. Whilst many of us have not read Defoe’s iconic book, Robinson Crusoe is a character that is familiar to us all. Aided by the hundreds of movies and theatre productions that the book spurned, Crusoe is a household name. Credited with being the first "real fiction" book, this fictional autobiography tells the tale of a young man who found himself shipwrecked on a remote island for 28 years. The story is said to be based on the dramatic life of Alexander Selkirk, a Scottish castaway who lived alone for four years on a Pacific island...

Robinson Crusoe Written Anew for Children by Daniel Defoe Robinson Crusoe Written Anew for Children

First published in 1719, Robinson Crusoe is a book that marks the beginning of realistic fiction writing in English. Its simple, linear narrative style and the semblance of being a true account and autobiographical in nature led to its great popularity when it first came out. Its original title The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York: Mariner, Who Lived Eight and Twenty Years all alone in an Uninhabited Island on the Coast of America, Near the Mouth of the Great...

The Life, Adventures & Piracies of Captain Singleton by Daniel Defoe The Life, Adventures & Piracies of Captain Singleton

The Life, Adventures & Piracies of the Famous Captain Singleton is a "bipartite adventure story whose first half covers a traversal of Africa, and whose second half taps into the contemporary fascination with piracy. It has been commended for its depiction of the homosexual relationship between the eponymous hero and his religious mentor, the Quaker, William Walters.".

By: Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym by Edgar Allan Poe Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym

Published in 1838, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket is Poe’s only complete novel and concentrates on several sea adventures gone awry. The novel follows Arthur Gordon Pym, who finds himself in the center of gloomy occurrences on board numerous vessels, as his anticipated sea adventure takes a drastic shift in the wind. Shipwreck, starvation, mutiny, near death experiences and cannibalism are just some of the issues endured in the gripping, and at times gruesome novel. The adventure...

By: Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950)

The Land that Time Forgot by Edgar Rice Burroughs The Land that Time Forgot

Off the coast of Greenland, a man finds a floating thermos bottle. Wedged tightly inside is a sheaf of papers covered with minute handwriting. As he begins to read, a fantastic tale begins to unwind. The writer, on his way to a WWI battlefield was shipwrecked and his entire regiment except for a woman and his faithful dog are killed. The three are rescued by a passing British tug, but fall prey to the schemes of a German spy aboard. They are then captured by the crew of a German U-boat. After many near mishaps, they sail towards Greenland...

By: Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909)

Book cover Man Without A Country And Other Tales

Edward Everett Hale (1822 – 1909) was an American author, historian and Unitarian clergyman. Hale first came to notice as a writer in 1859, when he contributed the short story "My Double and How He Undid Me" to the Atlantic Monthly. He soon published other stories in the same periodical. His best known work was "The Man Without a Country", published in the Atlantic in 1863 and intended to strengthen support in the Civil War for the Union cause in the North. Though the story is set in the early 19th century, it is an allegory about the upheaval of the American Civil War...

By: Edward Stratemeyer (1862-1930)

The Rover Boys on the Ocean by Edward Stratemeyer The Rover Boys on the Ocean

The hearty, all-American Rover Boys sail by yacht to Africa in search of their kidnapped father.

By: Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865)

Book cover Moorland Cottage

"Maggie Brown is torn between her mother who constantly tells her to live for her selfish brother (to whom she gives all her love) to her wish to marry Frank and live for herself. Maggie's plight for independence shows the change in women's role, which started to take place during that time. But it also keeps to the tradition of an almost Cinderella story: the pure woman does the best for everyone but herself and is rewarded for that. In addition, this is a very interesting story, written in Gaskell's remarkable style. When you read it, you are transported to another time, and place".

By: Ernest Shackleton

South! The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition 1914-1917 by Ernest Shackleton South! The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition 1914-1917

The expedition was given the grand title of The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Due to be launched in 1914, two ships were to be employed. The first, the lead vessel, fittingly named the Endurance was to transport the team to the Weddell Sea from where the great explorer Ernest Shackleton and five others would cross the icy wastes of Antarctica on foot. The second ship, the Aurora was to approach the continent from the other side and put down supplies at various points to help the explorers...

By: Erskine Childers (1870-1922)

The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers The Riddle of the Sands

Containing many realistic details based on Childers’ own sailing trips along the German North Sea coast, the book is the retelling of a yachting expedition in the early 20th century combined with an adventurous spy story. It was one of the early invasion novels which predicted war with Germany and called for British preparedness. The plot involves the uncovering of secret German preparations for an invasion of the United Kingdom. It is often called the first modern spy novel, although others are as well, it was certainly very influential in the genre and for its time...

By: F. Marion Crawford

Man Overboard by F. Marion Crawford Man Overboard

Peculiar happenings aboard the schooner Helen B. Jackson when one night during a storm, the small crew found themselves diminished by one. Somebody had gone overboard, and it was surmised that it was one of the twin Benton brothers. But oddly enough, it seemed that the ‘presence’ of the missing twin continued to exist on board during the following weeks. For example, one extra set of silverware was found to be used after each meal, but nobody claimed to be using them. What then did happen that stormy night, and which brother, if indeed it was one of the brothers, was the man who went overboard?

By: Frank V. Webster

Bob the Castaway by Frank V. Webster Bob the Castaway

Frank V Webster was a pseudonym controlled by the Stratemeyer Syndicate, the first book packager of books aimed at children. This pseudonym was used on books for boys from the early 1900s through the 1930s.Bob the Castaway follows the antics of young prankster Bob Henderson, his parents futile attempts to get him to mend his ways, and his subsequent nautical adventures. (Introduction by Nigel Boydell)

By: Frederick Marryat (1792-1848)

Mr. Midshipman Easy by Frederick Marryat Mr. Midshipman Easy

One of the first novel-length pieces of nautical fiction, MR. MIDSHIPMAN EASY (1836) is a funny and easygoing account of the adventures of Jack Easy, a son of privilege who joins the Royal Navy. The work begins as a satire on Jack’s attachment to “the rights of man” that may try the listener’s patience. But despair not, for the story soon settles down as the philosophical midshipman begins his many triumphs over bullies, foul weather, and various damned foreigners of murderous intent.Caveat audiens: This novel employs racial/ethnic epithets and religious stereotypes, as well as taking a rather sunny view of supply-side economics...

Book cover Jacob Faithful

Rebelling against the career chosen for him by his wealthy family, Frederic Marryat joined the Royal Navy in 1806 at the age of 14. He first served as a midshipman in the 38-gun frigate "HMS Imperieuse" commanded by Lord Cochran, 10th Earl of Dundonald whose real life exploits were used by Marryat in his fiction and which formed the basis for other famous fictional characters like Horatio Hornblower and Jack Aubrey. Having survived more than 50 sea battles and attained the rank of Post Captain, he resigned from the Navy and devoted the rest of his life to writing, drawing a good deal on his distinguished career in the Navy and is now considered the Father of Modern Nautical Fiction...

Book cover Jacob Faithful

Rebelling against the career chosen for him by his wealthy family, Frederic Marryat joined the Royal Navy in 1806 at the age of 14. He first served as a midshipman in the 38-gun frigate "HMS Imperieuse" commanded by Lord Cochran, 10th Earl of Dundonald whose real life exploits were used by Marryat in his fiction and which formed the basis for other famous fictional characters like Horatio Hornblower and Jack Aubrey. Having survived more than 50 sea battles and attained the rank of Post Captain, he resigned from the Navy and devoted the rest of his life to writing, drawing a good deal on his distinguished career in the Navy and is now considered the Father of Modern Nautical Fiction...

Book cover Snarleyyow

This is a quite amusing nautical tale of the British Navy of the around the year 1700. While, as with much early 'humor', it is somewhat heavy-handed, the sympathies of the author are clear and good, and cruelty is often averted by good fortune or background characters. First published under the title 'The Dog Fiend', the primary characters are an evil captain of a cutter and his dog. The dog seems indestructible, as is the poor cabin boy who is the butt of the captain's ill humor, and who often is chewed on by the dog...

Book cover Naval Officer, or Scenes in the Life and Adventures of Frank Mildmay

Marryat was a midshipman under Captain Cochrane and this, his first naval adventure, is considered to be a highly autobiographical telling of his adventures with one of Britain's most famous and daring naval captains.

By: George Alfred Henty (1832-1902)

Book cover Under Drake's Flag: A Tale Of The Spanish Main

An exciting tale set on the high seas, in a period ruled by exploration, with the ever-present dangers of nature and the weather, together with pirates of the famed Spanish Main.

By: George Hamilton

Voyage Round the World in His Majesty's Frigate Pandora by George Hamilton Voyage Round the World in His Majesty's Frigate Pandora

George Hamilton was the surgeon assigned to the frigate Pandora. The British Admiralty ordered the ship to the Pacific to arrest the Bounty mutineers and bring them back to England for trial. The commander, Captain Edward Edwards, also was ordered to chart the passage between Australia and New Guinea. While Edwards managed to arrest the mutineers still on Tahiti, he sank the Pandora on a reef near Australia. Hamilton tells this story and also the story of the crew’s fate after the Pandora sank.

By: George Manville Fenn (1831-1909)

Book cover Cutlass and Cudgel

Based around the crew of cutter HMS White Hawk, this is a tale of smuggling in the early 19th century off the coast of Wessex. The midshipman of the cutter is taken hostage by the smugglers and is befriended by a farm-boy, son of one of the smugglers. His friendship is rudely rebuffed, the midshipman eventually escapes and the farm-boy gets his long-held dream of becoming a seaman on an Excise vessel.

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...

The Nigger of the Narcissus by Joseph Conrad The Nigger of the Narcissus

This is the story of a voyage of a merchant sailing ship from Bombay to England, set in the very late 19th century. “It was a bad winter off the Cape that year.” From Wikepedia: “The novel is seen as an allegory about isolation and solidarity, the ship’s company serving as a microcosm of a social group.” As to the title, one can only ask, “What WERE you thinking?” (Introduction by Tom Crawford) Note from the reader: The preface (all but the first three minutes of Section 0) have nothing to do with the sea, the Narcissus, or seamen. Most listeners will want to begin with Chapter 1, and listen to the preface last, if at all.

The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad The Secret Sharer

A young untested ship captain finds a man named Leggatt clinging to the side of his ship. The Captain makes the unusual decision to hide Leggatt in his quarters. What is he thinking? Conrad will tell us. - The Secret Sharer was first published in the August and September 1910 issues of Harper’s Magazine

Chance by Joseph Conrad Chance

Apparently a two part story about a Damsel and a Knight, perhaps a damsel who depends upon the kindness of strangers. It was originally entitled "Dynamite" and first published by installments in the New York Herald. The book itself was the biggest commercial success for Conrad up until that time, 1913. It allowed Conrad for the first time to settle his financial affairs. The author's disdain for people who live on the land is apparent. A new understanding of the word "enthusiastic" is promulgated. And it is a love story. Let us see how the tale goes.

An Outcast Of The Islands by Joseph Conrad An Outcast Of The Islands

An Outcast of the Islands is the second novel by Joseph Conrad, published in 1896, inspired by Conrad's experience as mate of a steamer, the Vigar. The novel details the undoing of Peter Willems, a disreputable, immoral man who, on the run from a scandal in Makassar, finds refuge in a hidden native village, only to betray his benefactors over lust for the tribal chief's daughter. The story features Conrad's recurring character Tom Lingard, who also appears in Almayer's Folly (1895) and The Rescue (1920), in addition to sharing other characters with those novels...

Book cover Shadow-Line

Dedicated to the author's son who was wounded in World War 1, The Shadow-Line is a short novel based at sea by Joseph Conrad; it is one of his later works, being written from February to December 1915. It was first published in 1916 as a serial and in book form in 1917. The novella depicts the development of a young man upon taking a captaincy in the Orient, with the shadow line of the title representing the threshold of this development. The novella is notable for its dual narrative structure. The full, subtitled title of the novel is The Shadow-Line, A Confession, which immediately alerts the reader to the retrospective nature of the novella...

By: Joshua Slocum (1844-1909)

Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum Sailing Alone Around the World

A sailing memoir written by seaman and adventurer Joshua Slocum, who was the first person to sail around the world alone, documents his epic solo circumnavigation. An international best-seller, the book became a great influence and inspiration to travelers from each corner of the globe. Additionally, Slocum is an example that through determination, courage and hard work any dream can easily become a reality. Written in a modern and conversational tone, the autobiographical account begins with Slocum’s description of his hometown of Nova Scotia and its maritime history...

By: Jules Verne (1828-1905)

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

An early science fiction novel written by the second most translated author, French writer Jules Verne, the classic tale depicts an incredible sea expedition on board a state-of-the-art submarine. First published in 1870 and a part of the Voyages Extraordinaires series, the novel is regarded as one of the most thrilling adventure stories and one of Verne’s greatest pieces of work. Immersed in themes of exploration, avant-garde technology, and man’s insatiable desire for knowledge and scientific progression, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea has been an influence for many writers as well as an inspiration for numerous film adaptations...

An Antarctic Mystery or The Sphinx of the Ice Fields by Jules Verne An Antarctic Mystery or The Sphinx of the Ice Fields

A wonderful coming together of two writers who wrote their books more than half a century apart. Neither of them had ever visited the remote islands they were writing about yet they provided inspiration for a couple of exciting adventure tales. In 1838, Edgar Allan Poe published The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. It was the only complete novel published by the American author. It was the story of a young boy who stows away on board a whaling ship and it goes on to relate the events that follow...

In Search of the Castaways by Jules Verne In Search of the Castaways

The book tells the story of the quest for Captain Grant of the Britannia. After finding a bottle cast into the ocean by the captain himself after the Britannia is shipwrecked, Lord and Lady Glenarvan of Scotland decide to launch a rescue expedition. The main difficulty is that the coordinates of the wreckage are mostly erased, and only the latitude (37 degrees) is known.Lord Glenarvan makes it his quest to find Grant; together with his wife, Grant’s children and the crew of his yacht the Duncan they set off for South America...

Dick Sands the Boy Captain by Jules Verne Dick Sands the Boy Captain

Dick Sands, a youth of fifteen, must assume command of a ship after the disappearance of its captain. Nature’s forces combined with evil doings of men lead him and his companions to many dangerous adventures on sea and in Central Africa.

Book cover Adventures of Captain Hatteras, Part 2: The Field of Ice

The novel, set in 1861, describes adventures of British expedition led by Captain John Hatteras to the North Pole. Hatteras is convinced that the sea around the pole is not frozen and his obsession is to reach the place no matter what. Mutiny by the crew results in destruction of their ship but Hatteras, with a few men, continues on the expedition. ( Wikipedia)

Book cover Adventures of Captain Hatteras, Part 1: The English at the North Pole

The novel, set in 1861, describes adventures of British expedition led by Captain John Hatteras to the North Pole. Hatteras is convinced that the sea around the pole is not frozen and his obsession is to reach the place no matter what. Mutiny by the crew results in destruction of their ship but Hatteras, with a few men, continues on the expedition. ( Wikipedia)

By: Kirk Munroe (1850-1930)

The Copper Princess: A Story of Lake Superior Mines by Kirk Munroe The Copper Princess: A Story of Lake Superior Mines

The Copper Princess: A Story of Lake Superior Mines is an adventure set in the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The delightful story features a brave and wholesome hero struggling for his rightful copper mining inheritance against smugglers and bandits. He also encounters a beautiful and mysterious maiden who is caught in her father’s secret crimes.

By: L. L. Langstroth (1810-1895)

Langstroth on the Hive and the Honey-Bee by L. L. Langstroth Langstroth on the Hive and the Honey-Bee

Langstroth revolutionized the beekeeping industry by using bee space in his top opened hive. In the summer of 1851 he found that, by leaving an even, approximately bee-sized space between the top of the frames holding the honeycomb and the flat coverboard lying above, he was able to quite easily remove the latter, which was normally well cemented to the frames with propolis making separation hard to achieve. Later he had the idea to use this discovery to make the frames themselves easily removable...

By: Laura Lee Hope

Book cover The Bobbsey Twins at the Seashore

In this third volume of the “Bobbsey Twin Series”, the twins – Nan and Bert and Freddie and Flossie – go with their family to visit relatives at the seashore. Excitement and adventure are sure to abound!

By: Lawrence Beesley (1877-1967)

The Loss of the S. S. Titanic by Lawrence Beesley The Loss of the S. S. Titanic

This is a 1st hand account written by a survivor of the Titanic about that fateful night and the events leading up to it as well as the events that followed its sinking.

By: Lindsay Anderson (1841-1895)

Book cover Cruise in an Opium Clipper

Eamont was an opium clipper built in Cowes. It was the subject of an 1891 book, A cruise in an opium clipper, by Captain Lindsay Anderson. Eamont was involved in the opening of Japan to foreigners in 1858, serving as a dispatch boat between Nagasaki and Shanghai, and was one of the first vessels to open up a trade with Formosa…. The Eamont was sent on some very dangerous trips. She was one of the first vessels to open up a trade with Formosa, and made the first survey of the port of Taku, which she entered by bumping over the reef in spite of a tremendous surf beating upon it at the time, a most daring performance...

By: Logan Marshall

The Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters by Logan Marshall The Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters

Logan Marshall's book "The Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters" gives readers a first-hand account of the greatest sea disaster of all time straight from the survivors of the ill-fated sunken ship. Unlike many of the books about the Titanic that was written recently, Logan Marshall was fortunate that he was able to interview the survivors of the Titanic and access to all the important documents about the ship, including the diagrams, maps and actual photographs related to the disaster...

By: Lord Thomas Cochrane (1775-1860)

Autobiography of a Seaman, Vol. 1 by Lord Thomas Cochrane Autobiography of a Seaman, Vol. 1

This two volume work is the autobiography of Lord Cochrane, a naval captain of the Napoleonic period. His adventures are seminal to the development of naval fiction as a genre. Marryat sailed with Cochrane, while later writers borrowed incidents from this biography for their fictions. Most notable among these is Patrick O'Brian, three of whose novels have clear parallels to incidents in the life of Cochrane. This first volume covers Cochrane's earlier life, during which he is most active militarily. (Introduction by Timothy Ferguson)

By: Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942)

Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1896 to 1901 by Lucy Maud Montgomery Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1896 to 1901

Stories from 1896 to 1901. Lucy Maud Montgomery was born at Clifton (now New London), Prince Edward Island, Canada, on November 30, 1874. She achieved international fame in her lifetime, putting Prince Edward Island and Canada on the world literary map. Best known for her "Anne of Green Gables" books, she was also a prolific writer of short stories and poetry. She published some 500 short stories and poems and twenty novels before her death in 1942.

Book cover Watchman and Other Poems

While L. M. Montgomery is better known for her novels, such as Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon, she also wrote hundreds of poems. Her love of beauty, nature, and the sea is evident in this, the only volume of her poetry published during her lifetime.

By: Mary Seacole (1805-1881)

Book cover Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands

I should have thought that no preface would have been required to introduce Mrs. Seacole to the British public, or to recommend a book which must, from the circumstances in which the subject of it was placed, be unique in literature. If singleness of heart, true charity, and Christian works; if trials and sufferings, dangers and perils, encountered boldly by a helpless woman on her errand of mercy in the camp and in the battle-field, can excite sympathy or move curiosity, Mary Seacole will have many friends and many readers...

By: Maturin Murray Ballou

The Sea-Witch by Maturin Murray Ballou The Sea-Witch

Maturin Murray Ballou was the author of dozens of books, chiefly centered around his extensive sea travel. He was deputy navy-agent in the Boston Custom House and circumnavigated in 1882, collecting material for several travel accounts and various nautical romances, amongst which The Sea-Witch can be counted.

By: Morgan Robertson

Futility, Or the Wreck of the Titan by Morgan Robertson Futility, Or the Wreck of the Titan

This novel was published a full 14 years before the sinking of the Titanic, but listeners may be surprised at how many parallels this fictional tale has with subsequent true events. The Titan is the largest and most technologically advanced steamship of her time. She is considered unsinkable. Her full speed crossings of the Northern Lane Route carry her rich passengers in the highest standards of luxury and comfort. The less well-off travel in rougher quarters but still benefit from the speed of travel...

By: Mrs. O. F. Walton (1849-1939)

Book cover Saved at Sea

Alick was born in a lighthouse during a storm, and raised in the same lighthouse. He used to wish something would change, and one day something did. In an attempt to rescue a ship in distress, Alick and his grandfather end up with a baby girl. Who are her parents? Did they perish on that stormy night? As the lighthouse people try to find the answers to these questions, little "Timpey" begins to work her way into their hearts. And while the lighthouse stands firmly on the rock, are Alick and his grandfather truly anchored on the Rock?

By: Oliver Optic

Down South or Yacht Adventure in Florida by Oliver Optic Down South or Yacht Adventure in Florida

"Down South" is the fifth and last volume but one of the "Great Western Series." The action of the story is confined entirely to Florida; and this fact may seem to belie the title of the Series. But the young yachtsman still maintains his hold upon the scenes of his earlier life in Michigan, and his letters come regularly from that State. If he were old enough to vote, he could do so only in Michigan; and therefore he has not lost his right to claim a residence there during his temporary sojourn in the South...

Up the River by Oliver Optic Up the River

Up the River is the sixth and last of “The Great Western Series.” The events of the story occur on the coast of Florida, in the Gulf of Mexico, and on the Mississippi River. The volume and the series close with the return of the hero, by a route not often taken by tourists, to his home in Michigan. His voyaging on the ocean, the Great Lakes, and the Father of Waters, is finished for the present; but the writer believes that his principal character has grown wiser and better since he was first introduced to the reader...

By: Owen Wister (1860-1938)

The New Swiss Family Robinson by Owen Wister The New Swiss Family Robinson

A parody of its famous predecessor, this short piece was written by Owen Wister for the Harvard Lampoon

By: Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915)

Histology of the Blood by Paul Ehrlich Histology of the Blood

This is a textbook on the science of blood and bloodwork by (1908) Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Paul Ehrlich. Should appeal to hematologists, phlebotomists, and just plain folks interested in how our bodies work.

By: Rafael Sabatini (1875-1950)

Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini Captain Blood

An adventure novel with an unexpected hero, Captain Blood follows the unintended journey of chivalrous and well-educated gentleman Peter Blood, who without much choice was plunged into the world of piracy forcing him to leave his tranquil lifestyle behind. Sabatini first introduced his protagonist in a series of eight short stories published in magazine installments, until later weaving them together in 1922 as a novel. Set in the late 17th century, the novel begins with the image of Peter Blood, a physician, casually attending his geraniums and smoking a pipe...

The Sea Hawk by Rafael Sabatini The Sea Hawk

First published in 1915, The Sea Hawk follows the adventures of its protagonist Sir Oliver Tressilian, as he is unjustly betrayed and left to the mercy of others by his selfish brother, who seeks only to save his own skin no matter the cost. Exploring various themes including betrayal, vengeance, sacrifice, injustice, and tormented love, the novel successfully demonstrate Sabatini’s exceptional flair for adventure. Set in the late 16th century, the tale begins with the introduction of Sir Oliver Tressilian, a wealthy gentleman who lives together with his brother Lionel, haunted by his family’s bad-tempered reputation...

By: Richard Henry Dana, Jr. (1815-1882)

Book cover Two Years Before the Mast

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...


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