Library of Congress

Authorities & Vocabularies

The Library of Congress > Linked Data Service

From Library of Congress Genre/Form Terms


Sea fiction


  • Fiction that depicts a heroic main character on the open sea and whose plot progressively strips away the norms of land-based society.
  • URI(s)

  • Instance Of

  • Scheme Membership(s)

  • Collection Membership(s)

  • Form

    • Sea fiction
  • Variants

    • us: Maritime fiction
    • us: Nautical fiction
    • us: Naval fiction
  • Broader Terms

  • Sources

    • found: Oxford encyclopedia of maritime history (via Oxford reference online), Nov. 6, 2012: (sea fiction: distinct novelistic genre emerging in 1820s, inaugurated by James Fenimore Cooper with The Pilot; sea fiction remained vital throughout the nineteenth century in a transatlantic republic of letters; in sea fiction, novelistic techniques like suspense and the portrayal of emotionally deep characters help to involve the reader in an inquiry into the heroism of the mariner detailed across the history of open-ocean narrative; this inquiry occurs as the plot progressively strips away the norms of land-based society to reveal the violence at the basis of nature and society)
    • found: GSAFD, 2000 (Sea stories. Use for novels and stories using the sea as a setting or dealing generally with the sea as an environment)
    • found: American history through literature, 1820-1870, c2006 (under Nautical Literature: nautical fiction; nautical novels; sea stories; the sea novel; the nautical story)
    • found: Philbrick, T. James Fenimore Cooper and the development of American sea fiction, 1961.
    • found: Bruss, P. Conrad's early sea fiction, ©1979.
    • found: Taylor, T. Rogue wave : and other red-blooded sea stories, ©1996.
    • found: Allyn, S. Top deck twenty! : best West Coast sea stories!, ©1989.
    • found: Stani︠u︡kovich, K.M. Running to the shrouds : nineteenth-century sea stories, 1986.
    • found: Brown, G.M. Sea stories, 2008.
    • found: Peck, J. Maritime fiction : sailors and the sea in British and American novels, 1719-1917, 2001: p. vii (sea stories; sea fiction) p. 4 (My attention began to switch from pure sea novels to all novels that seemed to engage in some significant way with the maritime history of the country. It was at this point that I began to think about an appropriate title. The most widely used terms are 'sea fiction' and 'nautical fiction', but both, by placing their emphasis on events at sea, seemed somewhat wide of the mark of what I had in mind. 'Maritime fiction' emerged as the best alternative; maritime novels)
    • found: Hayes, D. Historic naval fiction, via WWW, Dec. 22, 2016: home page (naval fiction set in the Age of Sail) nautical genres (Privateer Fiction - Novels where the main featured vessel is a privateer; Pirate Fiction - Pirate and Buccaneer stories; Other Nautical Fiction - Merchant ships, smuggling, etc. set in the age of sail; ME [Modern Era] Naval Fiction - Naval Fiction books set during the periods of Steam, Oil and Nuclear Power; ME Other Nautical Fiction - Merchant ships and other nautical fiction in the modern era) {https://www.historicnavalfiction.com/}
    • found: Wikipedia, Dec. 22, 2016: Nautical fiction (Nautical fiction, frequently also naval fiction, sea fiction, naval adventure fiction or maritime fiction, is a genre of literature with a setting on or near the sea, that focuses on the human relationship to the sea and sea voyages and highlights nautical culture in these environments. The settings of nautical fiction vary greatly, including merchant ships, liners, naval ships, fishing vessels, life boats, etc., along with sea ports and fishing villages. When describing nautical fiction, scholars most frequently refer to novels, novellas, and short stories, sometimes under the name of sea novels or sea stories.)
  • General Notes

    • Fiction that depicts a heroic main character on the open sea and whose plot progressively strips away the norms of land-based society.
  • Change Notes

    • 2016-01-04: new
    • 2017-03-06: revised
  • Alternate Formats

Suggest terminology


The LC Linked Data Service welcomes any suggestions you might have about terminology used for a given heading or concept.

Would you like to suggest a change to this heading?

Please provide your name, email, and your suggestion so that we can begin assessing any terminology changes.

Fields denoted with an asterisk (*) are required.