Books by Francis B. Cooke

by Les

Cruising Hints

The only book by Francis B. Cooke currently in print

Francis B. Cooke was an English yachtsman who wrote about thirty books on the pastime. But while he was very popular in the late nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century, his books are no longer widely available.

A quick online search shows the following books available:

• Cruising Hints (7th edition, 2011, available in both hardcover and paperback)

• In Tidal Waters (various current editions in ebook, hardcover and paperback)

• Single-handed Cruising (ebook or paperback)

The first of the books is a new edition of a book probably first published in 1935. The second and third books are both available currently only in various versions of scans made in the last few years by the University of Toronto of a single copy of each book. The scanned books were both published in 1919.

The scan of In Tidal Waters is of generally good quality, and the new versions have few OCR errors. But the scan of Single-handed Cruising is of much worse quality, and the OCR errors are so numerous as to make the text almost unreadable in many places. Moreover, the book has numerous illustrations, and most of them are inserted in the wrong place or cropped badly. Captions for the figures are particularly prone to OCR errors.

The publishers of the last two books are assuming the books are in the public domain. As far as the U.S.A. is concerned, this should be a good assumption: anything first published before 1923 is almost certain to be free of copyright in the U.S.A.

So if you wish to read any of Francis B. Cooke’s writing, you can easily get a fairly good copy of In Tidal Waters, either in various ebook formats, or as a paper book. Or you can buy a new copy of Cruising Hints from Lodestar Books for 40 pounds (hardcover) or 31 pounds (paperback). For the other books he wrote you will have to search used book sources.

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