SEEKER OF SEAWAYS by Janice J. Beaty


Email this review


The very recent Ocean Pathfinder by Frances Leigh Williams (p. 699-J237) investigated the life of Matthew Fontaine Maury in detail that was meticulous for juvenile biography, but which told much more than a young person is likely to want to know about the man who made notable contributions to naval science but who is hardly among anyone's historical favorites. Williams' Matthew Fontaine Maury: Scientist of the Sea is the definitive beiography for adults, but Seeker of Seaways is the better choice for juvenile readers. The author has been more selective in her choice of material yet Maury, his personality and his contributions, is more definitely and distinctively established here. The early years are indicated but skimmed. His experiences as a brilliant young naval officer; as an infirm but persuasive critic of naval organization and methods; as the complete scientist heading the infant Naval Observatory, where among his other contributions he charted sea routes for the first time on a logical, efficient basis; and as a loyal supporter of and contributor to the Confederate cause, are shown in thoughtful perspective here and readably described. The book is a good example of a well-proportioned, quite enjoyable biography of a figure who is secondary but worth investigating.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1966
Publisher: Pantheon