Digest>Archives> October 2002

Special Editions Released of Two Vintage Edward Rowe Snow Books


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Edward Rowe Snow (1902-1982) in a photo taken at ...

If you live near the New England coast and are over a certain age, it’s likely that you have vivid memories of Edward Rowe Snow (1902-1982). Snow was a hugely popular storyteller, historian, treasure hunter, lecturer, and preservationist, and for over 40 Christmas seasons he was the “Flying Santa” to lighthouse keepers and their families. His books continue to be favorites of readers and collectors throughout New England. According to Webster Bull, owner of Commonwealth Editions of Beverly, Massachusetts, “The young people who grew up ‘at his feet,’ reading and listening to his tales of New England maritime history, are countless.”

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The Edward Rowe Snow Memorial at Fort Warren on ...

In recognition of the 100th anniversary of Snow’s birth, on August 22, 2002, Commonwealth Editions has released commemorative hardcover editions of two of his most enduring books, The Islands of Boston Harbor and Lighthouses of New England. The books were unveiled at this year’s annual Edward Rowe Snow Day celebration on George’s Island in Boston Harbor.

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Webster Bull, owner of Commonwealth Editions, ...

The first 1935 edition of The Islands of Boston Harbor was the result of research done at Harvard University under the tutelage of the great maritime historian Samuel Eliot Morison. The new edition features photos from the earlier editions as well as other photos from Snow’s collections, and new annotation by Jeremy D’Entremont brings the chapters up to date.

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Edward Rowe Snow’s daughter, Dorothy Bicknell, ...

Famous Lighthouses of New England was first published in 1945, and an updated version was published as Lighthouses of New England in 1973. The book covers in rich detail the histories of most of the region’s lighthouses, with special attention paid to Minot’s Ledge Light, Boston Light, the story of heroine Abbie Burgess at Matinicus Rock Light, and Keeper Ida Lewis at Lime Rock in Newport, Rhode Island. The new edition of this book also features a generous helping of old and new photos along with updates by Jeremy D’Entremont bringing the volume up to the present. The foreword is by “Mr. Lighthouse” Ken Black, director of Maine’s Shore Village Museum.

Edward Rowe Snow’s fans will no doubt be thrilled at the news of the new editions, and new generations will fall under the spell of a master storyeller. Lighthouses of New England is available from Lighthouse Depot; call 1-800-758-1444 or visit www.lhdepot.com to order. For information on how to purchase The Islands of Boston Harbor, you can call Commonwealth Editions at 978-921-0747, or you can email them at katieb@commonwealtheditions.com.

This story appeared in the October 2002 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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