Women Sailors and Sailors' Women

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Random House Publishing Group, Apr 15, 2001 - History - 304 pages
6 Reviews
For centuries the sea has been regarded as a male domain. Fisherman, navy officers, pirates, and explorers roamed the high seas while their wives and daughters stayed on shore. Oceangoing adventurers and the crews of their ships were part of an all-male world — or were they?

In this illuminating historical narrative, maritime scholar David Cordingly shows that in fact an astonishing number of women went to sea in the great age of sail. Some traveled as the wives or mistresses of captains. A few were smuggled aboard by officers or seaman. A number of cases have come to light of young women dressing in men’s clothes and working alongside the sailors for months, and sometimes years. In the U.S. and Britsh navies, it was not uncommon for the wives of bosuns, carpenters, and cooks to go to sea on warships. Cordingly’s tremendous research shows that there was indeed a thriving female population — from female pirates to the sirens of legend — on and around the high seas. A landmark work of women’s history disguised as a spectacularly entertaining yarn, Women’s Sailors and Sailor’s Women will surprise and delight readers.

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User Review  - Sarah_Gruwell - LibraryThing

I found this book a fairly enjoyable read. I learned a lot and in a fun-loving to learn way. The author documented his sources very well which lends itself to being a very good authority on the ... Read full review

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User Review  - ratastrophe - LibraryThing

Interesting and incredibly readable! Seemed to be some parts that really strayed from having a focus on women, but it was easy not to mind so much since the topic remained engaging. Read full review


Women on the Waterfront
The Sailors Farewell
Ann Parker and the Mutiny at the Nore
Fact and Fiction
Hannah Snell Mary Anne Talbot and the Female Pirates
Wives in Warships
Seafaring Heroines
Whaling Wives
Men Without Women
Women and Water Sirens and Mermaids
A Wife in Every Port
Two Naval Heroes and Their Women

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About the author (2001)

David Cordingly was for twelve years on the staff of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England, where he was curator of paintings and then head of exhibitions. He is a graduate of Oxford and the author of Under the Black Flag, an acclaimed history of piracy. Cordingly lives with his wife and family by the sea in Sussex, England.

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