Beston, Henry (1888 - 1968)

Genre: Children's Literature, General Fiction, Non-Fiction

Henry Beston (born June 1, 1888 in Boston as Henry Beston Sheahan), naturalist and writer, received his bachelors (1908) and masters (1911) degrees from Harvard, and an honorary degree from Bowdoin in 1953. He also served with the Harvard Ambulance Service in World War I. He was a journalist and the editor of Living Age in the early 1920s. He and his wife, writer Elizabeth Coatsworth, lived on 'Chimney Farm' in Nobleboro, Maine, and in Hingham, Massachusetts. Their daughter, Kate Barnes, was Maine's first poet laureate.

Composer Ronald Perera wrote a choral work called The Outermost House, on a commission from the Chatham Chorale of Cape Cod; the piece takes as its text excerpts from Beston's The Outermost House.

Beston died in Nobleboro on 15 April 1968.

Selected Bibliography

  • A Volunteer Poilu (1916), a World War I narrative
  • The Firelight Fairy Book (1919; illus. Maurice E. Day)
  • Fullspeed Ahead: Tales from the Log of a Correspondent with our Navy (1919)
  • Starlight Wonder Book (1923; illus. Maurice E. Day)
  • The Book of Gallant Vagabonds (1925), biographical sketches of adventurers
  • The Sons of Kai: The Story the Indian Told (1926)
  • The Tree That Ran Away (1941; illus. Fritz Eichenberg)
  • Northern Farm: A Chronicle of Maine (1948; illus. Thoreau MacDonald)
  • Especially Maine: The Natural World of Henry Beston (1970)
  • White Pines and Blue Water: A State of Maine Reader (1950), editor
  • Best of Beston: A selection from the natural world of Henry Beston from Cape Cod to the St. Lawrence, (2000) edited and introduced by Elizabeth Coatsworth

Selected Resources