CAPTAIN'S WIFE


CAPTAIN'S WIFE

ABBY JANE MORRELL    Book Number: 83128    Product format: Hardback

From a terrific series of first-hand accounts that bring vividly to life the experiences of sailors, the volume is abridged and edited for a modern readership with a new introduction explaining the significance of the memoir and why it is chosen to highlight a particular aspect of seafaring history. Sub-titled 'Narrative of a Voyage in the Schooner Antarctic 1829, 1830 and 1831', the Introduction is by Vincent McInerney. It became increasingly common in the 19th century for merchant service masters to take their wives to sea, particularly in the whaling industry. Reflecting the sailor's traditional dislike of women on board, it was seen as unlucky by the superstitious and simply disruptive by the more rational. The ships were derisively dubbed 'Hen Frigates'. Abby Jane Morrell's account was of her voyage between 1829 and 1830 which took her from New England to the South Pacific. Her husband Benjamin was in the sealing trade and also a keen explorer. His adventurous spirit led him and his wife into situations usually well outside the world of the Hen Frigate. Curiously, Benjamin also wrote an account of the same voyage, but known as 'the greatest liar in the Pacific' his wife's account is considered the better record. Apart from the descriptions of exotic places, much of the interest in this book is the traditional, centuries-old world of the sailor through the eyes of a thoughtful and well-educated woman. Some of her views make uncomfortable reading nowadays as in her dismissal of 'Hottentots' as 'abject wretches' and prejudices are typical of her time. Some of the irrational superstitions such as the legend of the Flying Dutchman she dissects with scientific precision. In the Auckland Islands she writes, weak as she was, that she 'felt new life in the ecstasy of the moment, as the very flowers seemed open to receive me.' 186pp.
Published price: £13.99
Bibliophile price: £4.00


Additional product information

ISBN 9781848321250
Browse these categories as well: Last Chance to buy!, Historical Biography, Travel & Places

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