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"The Wreck of the Isidore"

...A Glimpse into the Hidden History of Maine


Order one now to be sent to you. Includes full-color hardback book and 13-song CD!

Now available as an e-book for only $7.99 on Amazon and many other e-book sites.


"The Wreck of the Isidore" is a beautiful and compelling new 102-page color hardback book from Harvey Reid. Though known primarily as a guitarist and songwriter, Reid is a brilliant writer, and this book picks up where his epic 2001 song "The Wreck of the Isidore" left off. Fans of Reid's music will enjoy the perspective and writing of this book, and fans of local history who encounter the book will no doubt discover Reid's considerable musical talents. A 13-song CD comes with the book, and includes 4 songs written about the shipwreck plus 9 other instrumental tracks from his catalog, including an un-released 6-string version of the Star Island Jig.

Anyone who has lived or visited Maine will be intrigued with this lovely and interesting book, and as you gaze out at the rocky Maine seashore, it is hard not to imagine what it would be like to be on board a doomed sailing ship in a fierce gale. And it is hard not to hear Reid’s words ringing–

“And we sing once more of the Isidore
Of the cold New England sea
Where the hand of fate and a sailor’s life
Forever ‘twined shall be.”

On November 30, 1842 in a blinding snowstorm, a spectacular shipwreck occurred at Bald Head Cliffs in Cape Neddick, Maine. It was to be the worst maritime disaster in Maine’s long seafaring history, and all 16 local men on board perished in the frigid waters. Due to the eerie circumstances of the wreck, the powerful story of the crew’s premonitions of disaster, and lingering reports to this day by local fishermen of a ghost ship, it was said to be the most widely told tale in Maine a century ago.

The crew, ranging in age from the 15 year-old cabin boy to the 53-year old cook, all hailed from the Kennebunk, Maine area, 12 miles up the coast. The newly-built 3-masted barque was on her maiden voyage, headed for New Orleans and then for France. It was the worst storm that anyone alive could recall, and the unlucky ship foundered in the dark night and was smashed to pieces on the cruelest stretch of rock on Maine’s South coast.

This gripping story, long forgotten, makes a perfect backdrop for understanding a vital period in Maine history, and for visually a whole way of life that has vanished. Sleepy, out-of-the-way Maine was once at the forefront of global commerce, and a surprising amount happened there over the 400 years since it was first settled. Reid takes you through the cast and the setting of this shipwreck, and looks at the forces that led young teenagers from small towns in Maine to crew on board the fleet of tall ships that carried all manner of cargo all over the globe. A portrait emerges of life in a world that was unimaginably different from today's Vacationland, and the image of this wreck will linger in your mind.

AVAILABLE by phone, fax, email or possibly at these fine stores:

Tulips (Portsmouth NH)
Ogunquit Museum of American Art (Ogunquit ME)
Museums of Old York (York Village ME)
Hamilton House (South Berwick ME)
Kennebooks (Kennebunk ME)
Kennebunk Book Port (Kennebunk ME)

This book comes with a 13-song CD that includes the "Sailor's Fate Trilogy" from Reid's 2001 collaboration with Joyce Andersen (The Great Sad River), plus an unreleased song about the shipwreck (Unlucky Sailors) and 9 other nautically-themed instrumentals collected from his back catalog.

Retail $19.95 + $5 shipping in US or by mail, phone, fax, e-mail () and from specialty stores. Inquire about dealer and distributor pricing. To buy one from us .