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27+ Works 1,401 Membros 36 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Henry Beston (1888-1968) was the author of many books, including White Pine and Blue Water, Northern Farm, and The St. Lawrence. His Cape Cod house was proclaimed a National Literary Landmark in 1964. It was destroyed by a massive winter storm in 1978

Obras de Henry Beston

Northern Farm (1948) 125 cópias
Herbs and the Earth (1935) 105 cópias
The St. Lawrence (1942) 46 cópias
Especially Maine (1970) 33 cópias
White Pine and Blue Water (1905) 25 cópias
The Firelight Fairy Book (1919) 23 cópias
Chimney Farm Bedtime Stories (1966) 18 cópias
A Volunteer Poilu (1916) 14 cópias
Henry Beston's Fairy tales (1944) 7 cópias
CASA MÁS LEJANA, LA (2019) 6 cópias

Associated Works

Cape Cod (1865) — Introdução, algumas edições777 cópias
American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau (2008) — Contribuinte — 416 cópias
The Book of the Sea (1954) — Contribuinte — 36 cópias
The Panorama of Modern Literature (1934) — Contribuinte — 14 cópias
Castles and Dragons (1958) — Contribuinte — 11 cópias
Night: A Literary Companion (2009) — Contribuinte — 8 cópias


Conhecimento Comum



Over the past couple of years, I've haunted New England used bookstores (in all five states, actually) in casual search, along with browsing, of Henry Beston's classic The Outermost House. It is, I find, a surprisingly scarce little book, given its high status as a classic of nature writing. Last week, I found this book, published by Brattleboro, Vermont's Stephen Greene Press in 1976, for sale at a used bookstore in downtown Rockland, Maine. It's a reader, with selection from a number of Mr. Beston's books (including those he wrote about his time in Damariscotta, Maine, just down the road from Rockland). I don't generally like readers; this one, however, earns five stars on the ethic it espouses in such gorgeous prose. Very highly recommended. It is time Henry Beston's voice is heard again in our mad and maddening world.… (mais)
Mark_Feltskog | Dec 23, 2023 |
The author's 1928 account of the year he spent in an isolated house on the outer edge of Cape Cod. His emphasis is very much on the natural world around him there, including close observations of a wide array of seabirds and an extended attempt to capture the movements of the ocean in words. The human world is not entirely missing, either, however, as he was visited regularly by coast guard patrols: men who would walk the beach alone every night on the lookout for shipwrecks, which were numerous and terrible.

I found some parts of Beston's writing more engaging than others, but none of it is bad, and there are occasional passages that are impressively poetic (and that remain effective despite the introduction to 75th anniversary edition I read, which seems to be imitating the example of annoying movie trailers in its attempt to spoil all the best bits). Beston also has some profound and beautifully expressed thoughts on the the natural world as a whole, on its animal inhabitants as beings who exist on their own terms as much as any of us do, on the ways in which nature is so much bigger than humanity at the same time as we are within and a part of it, and on the rhythms of that world from which we disconnect only to our detriment.

I have no idea what this part of Cape Cod is like now, nearly a century later, but I can say that whatever might or might not have changed, this piece of writing still holds up and is still saying things that are just as relevant now as they were then.
… (mais)
bragan | outras 29 resenhas | Sep 19, 2023 |
I'm not sure how—being a naturalist of sorts who has spent a significant amount of time in coastal Massachusetts—that it is just now that I've become aware of this book. I came across it on the shelf at Everyone's Books in Brattleboro.

The premise: Beston, in his late thirties at the time, built a two-room cottage, two miles from the closest neighbor (the National Coast Guard), on the dunes of Eastham Beach on the Eastern outer banks of Cape Cod. This was in the 1920s. In September of 1926, Beston went out to the cottage, meaning to spend two weeks in retreat. Caught by the charm and magic of the place, he found he couldn't leave until a year had passed. His fiancé, Elizabeth Coatsworth, told him, "no book, no marriage." So over that winter he prepared his notes into a manuscript, and the book was published the following fall.

It is a tranquil book, short. The pages are split between Beston's time with the birds throughout the shifting seasons, and the Coast Guard—his human interlocutors throughout the year. When we first think of coastal wilderness, we think of the crash of the surf and the isolation. And then we remember—New England has incredible busy shipping and fishing routes. I recall a few days I spent sea kayaking Down East Maine; even as we were camping on various remote uninhabited islands, we'd awake each morning to the smell of diesel exhaust and the yell of of lobster fisherman checking their traps. Beston had a similar experience; half a dozen wrecks throughout his winter there, and numerous jaunts with members of the Coast Guard.

This book is credited with helping to inspire the conservation of the Cape Cod National Seashore.

The book has a very narrow scope, and is by no means a memoir, not speaking to any of Beston's interior. Apparently Beston saw the place as a psychological refuge to help his recovery from his service in World War I. What demons did he face in his cottage by the surf? This book does not say. Additionally, not once does he mention going for a swim down in the water, or speak about the books he was reading (I assume he was doing a lot of reading that year). So it does serve as a journal of his time there, but a very focused journal, which omits more than it includes. On the other hand, maybe this narrative focus contributed to the book's success.

If you thought a century back, the Cape was a pristine untouched wilderness, this book will set you straight! Although there wasn't nearly as much terrestrial development, apparently it was common practice to dump the sludge remaining from oil refining off the coast. Beston would collect oil-drenched sea birds, and attempt to nurse them back to health in his cottage. That said, there is no mention of ticks nor poison ivy, which I think are arrivals of the past century.

I also happen to be reading Iain McGilchrist's "The Matter With Things," about the differing worldviews of the right and left hemispheres of the brain. The right hemisphere allows us to interact with depth and with change. In this book, Beston beautifully articulates something essential about the costal landscape. This essence is intertwined with its constantly shifting sands, tides, winds, weather, and wildlife. Each day Beston spent at his cottage was a new world—a new slope to the beach, a different sky, new wildlife passing through. This is the world as only the right hemisphere is able to experience it.
… (mais)
willszal | outras 29 resenhas | Feb 9, 2023 |
Beston is such a beautiful writer. I was struck by how much of his commentary on moving away from being part of nature, written in 1948, are so relevant today just by substituting technology for industry. His descriptions of the weather moving across the landscape are magical.
ccayne | 1 outra resenha | May 4, 2022 |



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