Category Archives: B

Baldwin, Bates (John Edward Jennings, Jr.)

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Ballou, Maturin Murray (“Lieut. Murray,” “Frank Forester”)

[BALLOU, MATURIN MURRAY], “LIEUT. MURRAY,” “FRANK FORESTER” (1820-1895). An influential publisher of American periodicals, Maturin Murray Ballou was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He traveled extensively and entered the literary world by writing descriptive letters of his adventures for publication in Continue reading & text links

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Barker, Benjamin

BARKER, BENJAMIN (1817-18??). Beyond birth records in Salem, Massachusetts, the only documents that survive of Benjamin Barker are twenty short novels published under that name between 1845 and 1847 and one in 1855. Those with authors’ prefaces all indicate that Continue reading & text links

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Barnes, James

BARNES, JAMES (1866-1936). Author of books about naval history and naval wartime campaigns, as well as juvenile works on naval leaders, Colonel James Barnes was a prolific writer, historian, journalist, and naval officer. His depiction of seafaring individuals is characterized Continue reading & text links

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Barth, John

BARTH, JOHN [SUMMONS] (1930- ). There is a great deal of water in the fiction of John Barth, as one would expect of a writer who was born in Cambridge on the eastern shore of Maryland, was educated at Johns Continue reading & text links

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Bassett, Wilbur

Wander-Ships: Folk Stories of the Sea with Notes upon Their Origin (1917) Continue reading & text links

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Bates, Katharine Lee

“The Titanic” in The Retinue and Other Poems (1912) Continue reading & text links

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Bates, Martha E. Cram

BATES, MARTHA E. CRAM (1839-1905). Scant biographical detail exists concerning M.E.C. Bates. She was born in Northville, Michigan, and attended the State Normal School, now Eastern Michigan University. It appears that she taught school for at least two years in Continue reading & text links

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Beach, Edward Latimer Jr.

BEACH, EDWARD LATIMER [JR] (1918-2002). As his father had done, Edward L. Beach [Jr.] spent a career as a naval officer and wrote many books on naval topics. Three of these are excellent novels about submarines. Beach graduated from the Continue reading & text links

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Beach, Edward Latimer Sr.

BEACH, EDWARD LATIMER, SR. (1867-1943). Edward Latimer Beach Sr., novelist, was born 30 June 1867 in Toledo, Ohio. Graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1888, he took part in the Battle of Manila Bay on 1 May 1898 and Continue reading & text links

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Beale, Thomas

The Natural History of the Sperm Whale (1839) Continue reading & text links

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Beebe, William

BEEBE, WILLIAM [CHARLES] (1877-1962). William Beebe was born in Brooklyn and attended Columbia University, where he earned his B.S. in 1898. He led more than sixty scientific expeditions, many of them intentionally maritime. Influenced especially by the writings of Jules Continue reading & text links

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Behrman, S. N.

BEHRMAN, S[AMUEL]. N[ATHANIEL]. (1893-1973). The prolific playwright S. N. Behrman was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, into dire poverty; his entry into professional theatre was rapid, and by the mid-1920s he was already a notable literary figure. He remained a significant Continue reading & text links

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Benchley, Peter

BENCHLEY, PETER [BRADFORD] (1940-2006). Born in New York City, Peter Benchley earned a B.A. at Harvard in 1961 and took up a career in travel writing, journalism, and government. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve from 1962 to Continue reading & text links

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Berryman, John

BERRYMAN, JOHN (1914-1972). Born John Smith in Oklahoma, John Berryman assumed the name of his stepfather after his own father committed suicide. Berryman’s best-known work is the poetic sequence of 77 Dream Songs, published in 1964, for which he won the Continue reading & text links

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Beston, Henry

BESTON [SHEAHAN], HENRY (1888-1968). Born Henry Boston Sheahan in Quincy, Massachusetts, Henry Beston is the author of about a dozen books, including The Outermost House. A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod (1928). In 1925 Beston built a Continue reading & text links

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Binns, Archie

BINNS, ARCHIE [FRED] (1899-1971). Archie Binns, novelist and historian of the northwestern United States, is best known for his critically acclaimed novel Lightship (1934). Based partly on Binns’ own experiences at age eighteen aboard the Umatilla Reef Lightship off Cape Flattery, Washington, the story Continue reading & text links

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Bird, Robert Montgomery

The Adventures of Robin Day (1877) Continue reading & text links

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Bishop, Elizabeth

BISHOP, ELIZABETH (1911-1979). Elizabeth Bishop, American poet for whom the coastlines of North and South America served as powerful sources of inspiration, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her father died when she was eight months old, and her mother, after Continue reading & text links

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Bishop, John Peale

BISHOP, JOHN PEALE (1892-1944). A colleague and friend of such literary giants as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edmond Wilson, Ernest Hemingway, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Allen Tate, John Peale Bishop was a secondary figure in letters, writing essays, fiction, and Continue reading & text links

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Blatchford, John

BLATCHFORD, JOHN (1762-1794). John Blatchford’s account of his voyages is one of the more extraordinary sea narratives from the American Revolution. First published in 1788 and soon republished in at least half a dozen other editions, Blatchford’s Narrative of Remarkable Occurrences Continue reading & text links

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Bowditch, Nathaniel

BOWDITCH, NATHANIEL (1773-1838). Mathematician, navigator, and astronomer, Nathaniel Bowditch authored the book that since 1802 has been the standard reference for celestial navigators worldwide. Schooled only to age ten, Bowditch taught himself mathematics and several foreign languages in the course Continue reading & text links

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Bowman, James F.

The Island Home; or, The Young Castaways (1853) Continue reading & text links

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Boyer, Dwight

BOYER, DWIGHT (1912-1977). A journalist, photographer, and feature writer for the Toledo Blade, 1944-1954, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, 1954-1977, Dwight Boyer grew up and spent his professional life on the south shore of Lake Erie. He turned his personal and professional Continue reading & text links

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Brackenridge, Henry Marie

BRACKENRIDGE, HENRY MARIE (1786-1871). Henry Marie Brackenridge, writer, lawyer, legislator, and diplomat, was born in Pittsburgh, the son of well-known writer and jurist Hugh Henry Brackenridge. Most of Brackenridge’s career was devoted to legal work and wide-ranging writings on US. Continue reading & text links

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Bradbury, Ray

BRADBURY, RAY [DOUGLAS] (1920-2012). Ray Bradbury, prolific author of twenty story collections and eight novels evolving out of more than 340 published short stories, was born in Waukegan, Illinois. He has lived in Los Angeles since 1934. His work as Continue reading & text links

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Brady, Cyrus Townsend

BRADY, CYRUS [TOWNSEND] (1861-1920). Author of some seventy volumes of fiction and nonfiction, some having to do with seagoing or naval heroes, Cyrus Brady was born 20 December 1861 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in June Continue reading & text links

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Brewer, Lucy

“BREWER, LUCY.” Lucy Brewer is the pseudonym of either Nathaniel Coverly Jr. (1775?-1824), an early nineteenth-century Boston broadside and pamphlet publisher, or a writer in his employ, Nathaniel Hill Wright (1787-1824). Brewer’s The Adventures of Louisa Baker (1815) is purportedly a Continue reading & text links

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Bridge, Horatio

BRIDGE, HORATIO (1806-1893). A naval officer, Horatio Bridge is most famous for his close friendship with Nathaniel Hawthorne, for whom he found a publisher for Twice-told Tales (1837) and to whom Hawthorne dedicated The Snow Image (1851). Born in Augusta, Maine, Bridge graduated from Continue reading & text links

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Briggs, Charles Frederick

BRIGGS, CHARLES FREDERICK (1804-1877). Born a Nantucket Yankee (his mother was a Coffin), Charles Frederick Briggs was a real sailor before he became a professional writer. Though he would later turn to the magazines to earn a living, Briggs began Continue reading & text links

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Brinkley, William Clark

BRINKLEY, WILLIAM CLARK (1917-1993). Two of William Clark Brinkley’s books, Don’t Go Near the Water (1956) and The Ninety and Nine (1966), are based on his four years of experience in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Don’t Go Near the Water is not Continue reading & text links

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Brooks, Kenneth F., Jr.

BROOKS, KENNETH F., JR (1921- ). Kenneth F. Brooks Jr., a decorated World War II pilot living near Washington, D.C., spent his childhood summers on his uncle’s sailboat in the Chesapeake Bay and continues to sail. In Run to the Lee (1965) Continue reading & text links

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Browne, J. Ross

BROWNE, JOHN ROSS (1821-1875). Author of Etchings of a Whaling Cruise (1846), J. Ross Browne was born in Beggars Bush, Ireland, and emigrated to America when he was twelve years old. In 1838 Browne journeyed on a trading boat from Louisville to Continue reading & text links

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Bryant, William Cullen

BRYANT, WILLIAM CULLEN (1794-1878). William Cullen Bryant was born and raised in the back country of western Massachusetts, where an early talent for versifying displayed in religious, sentimental, and satiric poems culminated in the publication in the North American Review of his Continue reading & text links

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Buckley, William F., Jr.

BUCKLEY, WILLIAM F[RANK]., Jr. (1925-2008). William F. Buckley Jr., prolific journalist, author, and editor ofNational Review, is also a passionate sailor. Those two worlds join in a trilogy of narratives about monthlong ocean cruises he has taken in yachts he Continue reading & text links

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Buntline, Ned (Edward Zane Carroll Judson)

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Burland, Brian

BURLAND, BRIAN [BERKELEY] (1931-2010). Born in Bermuda, educated in England and Canada, and living a good part of his life in the United States, Brian Burland has written several maritime novels. Son of a yacht builder, Burland went to sea Continue reading & text links

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Burts, Robert

BURTS, ROBERT (17??-1839). Robert Burts was born in Maryland and entered the navy in 1833 as a midshipman. He sailed to the Mediterranean on the sloop Ontario, but upon return in 1836 he began a string of extended leaves. After fourteen Continue reading & text links

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Byles, Mather

BYLES, MATHER (1707-1788). Congregational minister, sermonizer, and poet, Mather Byles was the grandson of Increase Mather. Among his publications are two notable volumes, Poems on Several Occasions (1744) and Poems. The Conflagration. . . The God of Tempest and Earthquake (1755). The first collection Continue reading & text links

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