Selected Rachel Carson Bibliography

Rachel Carson died in 1964, having published only four books. A fifth, aimed at introducing children to the natural world, was published after her death. All five are available at many public libraries, though only The Sea Around Us and Silent Spring are a sure bet. That is also true of bookstores. However, all of Carson's books are in print and may be ordered through bookstores and online. And all are thoroughly worth reading, both for the poetic quality of the prose and for the wealth of information they contain. All will make you look at the world in a new way. Because these books were written half a century ago, reflecting what was then the latest scientific research, recent editions often contain updates where later studies altered earlier findings. But the essential truths of these books remain the same.

Under the Sea Wind , 1941
The Sea Around Us , 1951
The Edge of the Sea , 1955
Silent Spring , 1962
The Sense of Wonder , 1965

Carson's columns for the Baltimore Sun from 1936 to 1939 are harder to come by, but not impossible. A trip to the Sun's online archives and the payment of $10 or so, depending on how much and how long you want access, will give you scans of the articles, which can then be printed or read online. The articles are still under copyright, so we haven't included any here.

Some of Carson's work for U.S. Fish & Wildlife and the Bureau of Fisheries is available online. A Google or other search will bring up half a dozen or so. They are not under copyright, so we have put several of these here with this bibliography.

The best source for excerpts of Carson's writing and letters is Linda Lear's Lost Woods (Beacon Press, Boston; 1998), available at many libraries and bookstores.

Lear's excellent biography, Rachel Carson, Witness for Nature (Harry Holt and Company, New York; 1997), is detailed and meticulously researched. It's also a thoroughly enjoyable read. Lear interviewed dozens of Carson's friends and colleagues and had access to Carson's papers.

You'll find additional information at the Linda Lear Center for Special Collections and Archives at Connecticut College here. Lear and the Lear Center, incidentally, were a great help in the writing of the
CBM articles on Carson's Bay writings and in providing us access to the photos used.

There are several other biographies of Carson; the most recent of which is William Souder's On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson, Author of Silent Spring (Crown Publishers, New York; 2012).

Online, try Rachel, a site created by Linda Lear that holds a wealth of pictures, writings, an extensive bibliography.

Finally, you can watch the 2007 Bill Moyer's Journal story on Rachel Carson and the legacy of Silent Spring here.

Downloadable PDFs:

Chincoteague: Chincoteague: A National Wildlife Refuge
Guarding our Wildlife Resources
Fish and Shellfish of the Middle Atlantic Coast