Women Sailors and Sailors' Women: An Untold Maritime History

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Random House, 2001 - History - 286 pages
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"The fall of 1856 was one of the worst seasons that sailors off the coast of Cape Horn had ever seen. The clipper ship Neptune's Car, a trading vessel from New York, had battled huge waves and gale-force winds for weeks. Desperate to save his men and cargo from the violent storm, Captain Joshua Patten spent eight sleepless days and nights on deck. On the ninth day at the helm, he collapsed with a raging fever, and his crew panicked. As freezing rain and wind howled through the rigging and death seemed imminent, just one person on board stepped forward to take control of the ship: Captain Patten's nineteen-year-old wife, Mary, then five months' pregnant with their first child. When the ship safely reached its destination of San Franciso that November, Mary Patten was hailed as a national heroine." "What was a young woman doing on board a clipper ship in 1856? And how could she have been skilled enough to navigate a 216-foot vessel through a storm? Maritime history is rich with tales of male adventurers, sailors, captains, and pirates. In fact, we think of the high seas as an all-male world. But what about women? Were wives and daughters left ashore, relegated to a landlubber's existence?" "To answer these questions, maritime scholar David Cordingly has written an inspired, illuminating, and highly readable book that reveals the vibrant history of women and the sea. Drawing on years of research into the journals, ship's logs, and diaries of extraordinary women like Mary Patten, Cordingly has resurrected the incredible stories of a forgotten population. He re-creates a time when captain's wives shared Christmas dinners in Tahitian harbors, and when one Hannah Snell served aboard a British naval ship for four years without revealing her identity as a woman."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Women sailors and sailors' women: an untold maritime history

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Cordingly (Under the Black Flag), former curator of paintings and head of exhibitions for the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, here offers a fascinating survey of the role of women on shore and ... Read full review


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The Sailors Farewell
Ann Parker and the Mutiny at the Nore

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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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