June 21, 2019 posted by

The Outermost House: A Year of Life On The Great Beach of Cape Cod [Henry Beston] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The seventy-fifth. The best nature-writing, it seems to us, brings together a place, a time, and a personality in such a way that, after we’ve read the book, the writer’s experience, . Having planned to stay two weeks in his newly built house on the sand dunes, Henry Beston’s fascination with the changes of the dunes, the.

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They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.

Fill in your details below or click housd icon to log in: Could you describe a wave, then describe how it varies from other waves, and how its sound is different at various times? We patronise them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken a form so far below ourselves.

The Outermost House by Henry Beston #NatureWriting – Word by Word

They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of earth. You are commenting using your Twitter account. He bears witness to the comings and goings of constellations and tides, the nightly patrols of the coast guardsmen who walk the beach; he ponders the dark imperatives that lie behind the migrations of birds and fish, the mysterious “peoples of the sea.

There, across the seasons he passionately and fondly observes the primeval dances of the tide and the offshore winds, the seasonal migrations of seabirds and butterflies and fish,the magic of dawn and night at the oceanside, the great symphony of natural sounds in which the waves and wind and insects and birds play their parts with elegance, and records them all in incredible detail and beauty with his rhythmic language.

Refresh and try again. When the Pleiades and the wind in the grass are no longer a part of the human spirit, a part of very flesh and bone, man becomes a cosmic outlaw. Reading your review makes me want to read it all over again.


It is true that there are grim arrangements. I’m a midwestern gal living hundreds of miles from the nearest beach, I’ve never been to Cape Cod and it makes me sad that at the rate the world is changing, I probably won’t ever get to explore the Cape that Harry Beston writes te in this book.

This is a quiet novel about a year the author spent, alone, in a house on Cape Cod mainly chronicling the seasons and tides of this isolated place. His descriptions and powers of observation are amazing. One man, one year, one tiny house – what you get is a lyrical almost poetic look at Cape Cod in the s. To all who love her, who open to her the doors of their veins, she gives of her strength, sustaining them with her own measureless tremor of dark life.

By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. One of the joys of reading is sharing the books one loves with others, and I love talking about books too, so this masterly and beautifully written review was a glorious substitute for both… So you are an Annie Dillard fan too?

Listen to the surf, really lend it your ears, and you will hear in it a world of sounds: Learn to reverence night and to put away the vulgar fear of it, for, with the banishment of night from the experience of man, there vanishes as well a religious emotion, a poetic mood, which gives depth to the adventure of humanity.

Review of The Outermost House () — Foreword Reviews

And all these her creatures, even as these thwarted lives, what travail, what hunger and cold, what bruising and slow-killing struggle will they not endure to accomplish earth’s purpose? View all 6 comments. It would be much more interesting if you know and I mean “know” birds.

Carpenter Harvey Moore and his crew were the builders. Henry Beston described himself as a writer-naturalist, and his love of nature comes shining through in this book. He later married poet and novelist Elizabeth Coatsworth and moved to a farm in Nobleboro, Maine, where he lived the rest of his life.


For the next couple of years, Beston would come and go from his dune refuge, keeping extensive notes on his observations of life on the beach. Somewhere in ocean, perhaps outerrmost thousand miles and more from this beach, the pulse beat of earth liberates a vibration, an ocean wave Beston had built a weekend retreat — a cabin, really — on Coast Guard Beach.

Outrmost it transpires, Beston had served as an ambulance driver in France and then as a press correspondent through the length of world war 1, and came back depressed and entirely disillusioned about the excesses of modern industrial society and the violence that attended it. They walked the beach each night, days per year no matter what the weather conditions were. It is as impossible to live without reverence as it is without joy.

The Outermost House Quotes

Beston and Coatsworth were married in June and honeymooned at the Fo’castle yhe two weeks, but the couple seldom returned to the beach cottage after that. When the Pleiades and the wind in the grass are no longer a part of the human spirit, a part of very flesh and bone, man becomes, as it were, a kind of cosmic outlaw, having neither the completeness and integrity of the animal nor the birthright of a true humanity.

It’s meant to be savored. View all 4 comments.

Watching wave after wave roll in, of their formation, sound, and way the light from the sun and its position interacts with the waves.

For the animal shall not be measured by man. What a lovely book. Subscribers get full access to the current issue and more than 40 years of archives.