Late 19th Century American Naval Fiction

The Wright American Fiction collection contains 2,887 novels published between 1851 – 1875. Keyword and title searching, as well as author searching, turn up a surprising number of works that have the sea as their background. For example, using the keyword “navy”, one has hundreds of novels with that term in it. One can relish the thrilling exploits in Five years before the mast, or, Life in the forecastle aboard of a whaler and man-of-war (1854) or Nautilus, or, Cruising under canvas (1871). The results are arranged so that those novels with the greatest number of “hits” top the list.

You can use whatever nautical term you are interested in; typing in “sea” pulls up Moby-Dick, or, The Whale (1851) among others.



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