Henry Beston's 1928 book, The Outermost House, is now considered a classic of American Literature and has a devoted following among its readers. Beston (1888-1968) wrote the book after spending a solitary ''year'' in a 20x16 house on the dunes of Eastham on Cape Cod, using the house as a base while studying and observing the wonders of the elements in this glorious maritime setting.
The Outermost House is considered to be one of the seminal works of today's environmental movements and ''is one of the reasons that the Cape Cod National Seashore exists today,'' in the words of the governor of Massachusetts, Endicott Peabody, in 1964. The governor's words were echoed by representatives of the National Park Service. Rachel Carson said it was the only book that ever influenced her writing.
The Henry Beston Society's mission statement states that its goal ''is to honor Henry Beston by stimulating interest in and promoting education about his life, works and philosophy — with emphasis on his time spent on Cape Cod in Massachusetts — and his place in his world and ours, by coordinating research on his life and writings, by acting as an archive for material relevant to Henry Beston and by advocating for the preservation of the memory and historical importance of The Outermost House.''
The Beston Society, an all-volunteer organization, has partnered with several other Cape Cod organizations for lectures, performances and exhibits, published literature, begun work on a documentary film, has long-range plans to open a museum, complete with a replica of Beston's ''Fo'castle,'' and has a large archival collection of material related to Henry Beston and The Outermost House.