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

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Summary: A "hen frigate", traditionally, was any ship with the captain's wife on board, and Hen Frigates is the dramatic and largely untold story of the enterprising women who sailed on oceangoing merchant ships throughout the last century. These vessels were miniature worlds - wildly colorful, dangerous, and, most of all, romantic - where voyaging was a strenuous challenge under even the best of conditions. Matters were sometimes "rather worse for going to sea", maritime historian and Fulbright Fellow Joan Druett writes, as disease was prevalent and shipboard accidents were common. Gales, hurricanes, typhoons, collisions, and fire at sea were feared by all on board. Some wives survived shipwreck, but many succumbed, as happened following the wreck of the Golden Star in 1861, when Captain Staples and his wife drowned, locked in each other's arms. But in spite of the risks, thousands of women left their familiar lives with family and friends to join their husbands on sea voyages - so that they could be together, instead of mostly apart.


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