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Hen frigates : wives of merchant captains under sail
Druett, Joan.
Adult Nonfiction VK139.D78 1998

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Historical sidelights can be as intriguing as major events, as in this study of 19th-century sea captains' wives who sailed with their husbands and recorded their impressions in journals and letters. Druett (Petticoat Whalers) points out that in some instances finances dictated that wives be taken along, for a captain who put all of his capital into a ship might have no funds for a home on land. But there were other motivations, too, such as enjoying a honeymoon or sharing experiences. The Victorian female was as "submissive, timid and impregnably virtuous," but the work on shipboard put no premium on submission or timidity. Children were born and raised on ships, with the captain often delivering his own offspring; the captain's wife frequently served as cook and repaired torn sails, and the couple joined forces to fight wind and weather as well as illness. The book provides solid entertainment along with interesting information. Illustrations. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Maritime historian Druett (The Sailing Circle, Whale Museum Society, 1995) writes knowledgeably about the wives of merchant sea captains under sail during the 19th century. From the horrifying to the amusing and the mundane, Druett has mined these stories from personal journals and letters kept by seafaring wives. Young women facing their first trip at sea were often frightened by the weather, tormented by sea sickness, and bored by a lack of activity and company. Because the captain's wife was often the only woman on board, she had little companionship, as socializing with the crew would not have been acceptable and her husband would have been too busy to spend much time with her. Children were conceived, born, and sometimes raised at sea. In her well-written study, Druett ably demonstrates how these women endured isolation to form their own unique life experience at sea. Informative and entertaining reading for maritime history and women's studies collections.‘Roseanne Castellino, Arthur D. Little, Cambridge, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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