Hen Frigates: Passion and Peril, Nineteenth-Century Women at Sea

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, May 4, 1999 - History - 272 pages
10 Reviews
A "hen frigate," traditionally, was any ship with the captain's wife on board. Hen frigates were miniature worlds -- wildly colorful, romantic, and dangerous. Here are the dramatic, true stories of what the remarkable women on board these vessels encountered on their often amazing voyages: romantic moonlit nights on deck, debilitating seasickness, terrifying skirmishes with pirates, disease-bearing rats, and cockroaches as big as a man's slipper. And all of that while living with the constant fear of gales, hurricanes, typhoons, collisions, and fire at sea. Interweaving first-person accounts from letters and journals in and around the lyrical narrative of a sea journey, maritime historian Joan Druett brings life to these stories. We can almost feel for ourselves the fear, pain, anger, love, and heartbreak of these courageous women. Lavishly illustrated, this breathtaking book transports us to the golden age of sail.
  

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Review: Hen Frigates: Wives of Merchant Captains Under Sail

User Review  - Barbara - Goodreads

Well-organized and researched. Read full review

Review: Hen Frigates

User Review  - Francie - Goodreads

This was a wonderful look at the wives of Sea Captains who chose to sail with their husbands (very much a minority choice as women on board a sailing ship were considered bad luck). It was very well ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
15
Chapter Two At Sea
43
Chapter Three Sex and the Seafaring Wife
67
Chapter Four Children at Sea
89
Chapter Five Small Ladies
111
Chapter Six Ship Kitchens
129
Chapter Seven Occupational Therapy
149
Chapter Eight Medical Matters
167
Chapter Nine Hazards of the Sea
187
Chapter Ten Dropping Anchor
203
Chapter Eleven On Shore in a Foreign Land
221
Appendix
237
Index
263
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Joan Druett is the author of nine previous works of history and historical fiction and has been the recipient of a PEN/Hubert Church Award, a Fulbright Fellowship, and the John Lyman Award for Best Book of American Maritime History. While much of her research is carried out in the United States, she lives in Wellington, New Zealand, with her husband, Ron.

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