Recommended Free Downloads of Maritime E-Books

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Free Downloads of Historical Maritime Books.

There is a great number of ancient maritime books out there on the internet that may be downloaded free of charge. I do not have an e-reader (Kindle), but download the PDF versions onto a memory stick and put it in my laptop. The way I read these e-books is to seat myself in an armchair, put a cushion on top of my lap and the laptop on top of the cushion. I can then select the size of the page that I want, and read it in comfort, often with a glass of wine in the evening. I keep a small card stuck on the laptop front and make a note of the page number that I have got to when I finish reading for the day. To return to the page, I just put the required page number in the box that appears to the top left and hit the carriage return button. Then hit it again to turn the page.
To download an e-book, first locate it on the internet. Then in the menu at the top left, click on HTTPS All Files. Another list will appear. Select PDF files (The third one down in this case), and download it into the computer.
The old books give wonderful descriptions of life at sea in the old days

I can recommend the following: By Way of Cape Horn by Paul Eve Stevenson.
Here is a direct link to the library listing.
http://archive.org/details/bywayofcapehornf00stev
To download it, look in the menu at the top left, and click on HTTPS All Files. Another list will appear. Select PDF files (The third one down in this case), and click on it. It will then download it into the computer.

This book gives a remarkable account of a voyage around Cape Horn in an American clipper in 1898. In the book the ship is called Hosea Higgins, probably because she was still sailing when the book was written. She was, in fact, the Cyrus Wakefield.

Reading books like this add greatly to the interest of building models and I can greatly recommend them.

Bob
 
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Here is another highly recommended free download:
http://archive.org/details/logaseawaifbein00bullgoog
The Log of a Sea Waif, by Frank Bullen. This concerns the first four years of the sea career of Frank T. Bullen, of London, in the 1860s. It shows that one does not have to be blasting each other to pieces with cannon fire, or carving lumps off each other with cutlasses to have adventures on the high seas! :shock: It was written in 1899!
This narrative really takes the reader to the times described in such vivid detail.

I am realistic enough to realise that very few will bother to download and read this wonderful book, but oh - what a treat you will be missing! The decision is yours! ;-)

Bob
 
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I have just completed reading The Cruise of the Cachalot by Frank Bullen. It is available as a free download here:
http://archive.org/details/cruisecachalota00bullgoog
I can highly recommend it. It concerns a young Englishman who ships aboard an American whaler as able seaman in the 1870s. During the course of the voyage, he rises to the rank of 4th officer in the ship. It is a very descriptive narrative of the dangerous job of whale hunting from open boats propelled by sail and oar.
I have no particular interest in whaling, but having read the first page online, I was immediately hooked on it and read it through with great enjoyment.
Bob
 
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Hi Bob,

Thanks for the reminder about these free ebooks. There are a several titles that I ended up getting print versions of which are much easier to have in pdf form. So, I immediately downloaded several of them.

I have an iPad and I found that it's easy to throw them into the iBooks app on it, which allows me to do searches or just browse through these titles (including your CD!) very easily. At least one of these ebooks, I'd previously purchased as a Kindle book. But, having it as a pdf ebook is so much more flexible.

Great post!

Clare
 
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Clare,
The local librarian told me about these free downloads, and I think they are great. I rarely read anything new these days with this seemingly bottomless pit of reading material out there. I was not especially interested in whaling when I got the last one, but it had me gripped all the way through. Bullen was a fine writer.
Bob
 
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Bob, great references posted and the downloads are great..thanks.
I have read lots of material on American clippers...the stories are excellent.

Thanks.. :banana-dance:
 
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