The Fo'c'sle: Henry Beston's

The Fo'c'sle: Henry Beston's "Outermost House"

by Nan Parson Rossiter


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Most adults know, and many have read, Henry Beston's beloved account of the year he spent in a shack high on a dune overlooking the thundering surf of the Atlantic. Here, on the outer forearm of Cape Cod, looking un-interrupted due east to Portugal, he made a life in a 16 × 20' shack, simply furnished with a kitchen, a bed, a chest of drawers, a writing table, and a few chairs. He lived there, alone, through the changing seasons, the migration of birds, the howling of the winter storms, the occasional visits of surfmen from nearby Nauset Station, and the turning of the stars in the night sky. During the days, he would wander along the beach, take notes, and think. At dusk he would come home to write by lanternlight. The result was his immortal record of that year on the Nauset dunes, The Outermost House. The house was known as "The Fo'c'sle."

Now we have a record of that year for younger readers, brilliantly retold and illustrated by Nan Parson Rossiter. Her artwork glows with the same inner light and simplicity that animated Beston's prose and amplified the natural world. And although his memorable prose is incorporated throughout the book, it is Rossiter's skill, as both an artist and an interpreter, that makes him, his year, and the little shack he so loved come convincingly, and poignantly, to life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781567924336
Publisher: Godine, David R. Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 06/13/2012
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 1,244,909
Product dimensions: 8.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 10 - 12 Years

About the Author

Nan Parson Rossiter is the author / illustrator of several award-winning books for children including Rugby & Rosie, The Way Home, and Sugar on Snow. She lives in rural Connecticut with her husband, two handsome sons, and a yellow retriever named Mulligan. When not working, she enjoys hiking with her family and vacationing on Cape Cod.

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The Fo'c'sle: Henry Beston's "Outermost House" 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
52chickadees More than 1 year ago
Who, among us wouldn’t love to leave the hustle and the bustle of our world behind and commune with nature in all of its bountiful glory? Naturalist/writer Henry Beston did just that more than a half century ago. He decided to live alone for a year in a tiny but extremely sturdy shack of a house ( equipped with the barest of necessities) that was perched on the tall dunes of the Cape Cod coastline. He watched as the changing seasons graced his view with wonder and awe and wrote his observances down daily in his journal. People living in the surrounding area nicknamed his abode; “Outermost House” as his little home was the farthest one out toward the Atlantic and Henry lovingly named it “Fo’c’sle”, a nautical term meaning the forward part of a ship usually with the sailors’ living quarters. I have previously read and enjoyed Ms. Rossiter’s adult fiction and have been anxious to dive into this Juvenile-aged title as well. You will certainly not be disappointed! The Author not only relates Henry’s fascinating story very well, and has included excerpts of his prose, but has also beautifully illustrated this book that all ages will enjoy. What a wonderful addition this would make to any family’s bookshelf! You not only learn about his experiences with the natural world, but this book would spark any child’s interest into nature, Ornithology, Astronomy, Oceanography, Meteorology and beyond , creating a learning experience for adults as well. As an avid birdwatcher and lover of nature, I’ll be appreciating the sights and sounds from the banks of our own mighty Susquehanna River more since reading this, and perhaps, wishing for my own “Fo’c’sle”. Bravo Ms. Rossiter…well done and I’ll be on the lookout for your next title. Nancy Narma \
Anonymous More than 1 year ago