Hampton Sides •

Wed, May 1, 2024 – 7:00 pm est

Virtual Tickets

In-Person Tickets

Find out more

And current safety practices.

Ticket Purchasing Options

Walk-up to the Opera House

You can purchase tickets at the box office of the City Opera House (hours may vary by season; check website for details)

106 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49684

Over the Phone

Call the City Opera House to purchase tickets and reserve your seat.


On the Opera House Website

You will be taken to the City Opera House website for in-person tickets ONLY.
If you want to attend virtual events you must purchase here on the NWS website.

Event and Book

The New York Times bestselling author of Blood and Thunder and Ghost Soldiers, Hampton Sides now tells the epic tale of Captain Cook’s last and fatal journey that began in 1776.

In The Wide Wide Sea, we learn of the dramatic and disturbing change in Cook’s personality. Lionized as the greatest explorer in British history, Cook was admired for his peerless seamanship, his humane leadership, and his dedication to science. He treated his crew well and respected Indigenous societies.

Yet on this last journey, something was different. Cook became hot-tempered, resorting to the lash to enforce discipline. He led his two vessels into danger time and again. Uncharacteristically, he ordered violent retaliation for perceived theft on the part of native peoples. This may have had something to do with the pressure he felt from his secret charge to chart and claim lands before his rivals could and to discover the fabled Northwest Passage. In any case, the ultimate effects were catastrophic for Indigenous people around the world. Tensions between Cook’s overt and covert missions came to a head in Hawaii, where his exploitative treatment of the Hawaiians led to the fatal encounter.

At once a ferociously-paced story of adventure on the high seas and a searching examination of the complexities and consequences of the Age of Exploration, The Wide Wide Sea is a major work from one of our finest narrative nonfiction writers.


In-Person at the City Opera House, 106 E. Front St., Traverse City, Michigan

Doors open at 6 p.m. with live music and a cash bar. The event begins at 7 p.m. and includes a Q&A and author signing. Each ticket comes with a hardcover copy of “The Wide Wide Sea”  (or opt for a two-ticket package with one book). 

Ticket Information:
Tier One:
$57—Includes a $27 single ticket and a copy of the book
$84—Includes two $27 tickets and one copy of the book*

Tier Two:
$47—Includes a $17 single ticket and a copy of the book
$59—Includes two $17 and one copy of the book*

$10 Student Tickets (Does not include a book)

*For this two-ticket/one book package, please call the Box Office at 231-941-8082, ext. 201.

Virtual Tickets
$45—Includes a $15 virtual ticket and a copy of the book


Hampton Sides


Hampton Sides is an award-winning editor of Outside and the author of the bestselling histories Hellhound on his Trial, Blood and Thunder and Ghost Soldiers. He lives in New Mexico with his wife, Anne, and their three sons.

Guest Host | TBD

Guest Host Doug Stanton is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of In Harm’s Way and 12 Strong, made into a major motion picture by Jerry Bruckheimer, and The Odyssey of Echo Company. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, Time, The Washington Post, Men’s Journal, The Daily Beast, Newsweek, Esquire, and Outside. He was awarded the 2021 Steven Ambrose Oral History award. He attended Interlochen Arts Academy, Hampshire College, and received an MFA from the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. He created the National Writers Series in 2009 with his wife, Anne, and attorney Grant Parsons. He and Anne have three children and live in Traverse City.

Purchase Book

Event Sponsor

Ron Chao and Paula Kelly

Literary Sponsor

Bay Books

Local Bookstores

Bay Books – Suttons Bay

Brilliant Books – Traverse City

Cottage Book Shop – Glen Arbor

Horizon Books – Traverse City

McLean & Eakin – Petoskey

Saturn Booksellers – Gaylord

Thank You to all our Major Sponsors

For more information on these sponsors or becoming a sponsor of National Writers Series click here

Sustaining Sponsor
Season Sponsor
Development Sponsor
Arts Benefactor Sponsor