CUSHING — Popular maritime author James L. Nelson will preview his new series on the life and times of 17th-century buccaneers in a Zoom talk from the Cushing Public Library on Thursday, Nov. 18, at 6:30 p.m. To register for this free event, call Wendy Roberts at 207-691-0833 or email

Nelson has previously presented narratives of Vikings and American nautical history at the library, and he has now embarked on a new series. Book I of “The Buccaneer Coast: Blood, Steel and Empire” captures the dangerous times in the 17th-century Caribbean, with France, England and Spain in near constant war. Conditions are ripe for the rise of a new, ruthless band of men: the buccaneers. Camped on the shore of Hispaniola, these half-wild men eke out a living hunting the island’s feral livestock. Among them, the silent but deadly Jean-Baptiste LeBoeuf lives in exile, content that no one in the hunters’ camp is at all curious about his past. But a hurricane up-ends the buccaneers’ rough existence, leaving in its wake opportunity for a new life for LeBoeuf and his fellow hunters. This stroke of luck, however, is not all it seems, and when even greater violence is visited upon them they find themselves locked in battle with some of the most powerful and ruthless men in the Spanish Empire.

The author was born and raised in Maine, and for six years worked on board traditional sailing ships before launching a writing career in 1994. The author of extensive works of maritime fiction and history, he is the winner of the American Library Association/William Young Boyd Award and the Naval Order’s Samuel Eliot Morison Award. Nelson has lectured throughout the country and appeared on the Discovery Channel, History Channel, National Geographic and BookTV. He currently lives in Harpswell with his former shipmate, now wife, Lisa.