During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the whaling industry in New England sent hundreds of ships and thousands of men to distant seas on voyages lasting up to five years. In Captain Ahab Had a Wife, Lisa Norling taps a rich vein of sources--including women's and men's letters and diaries, shipowners' records, Quaker meeting minutes and other church records, newspapers and magazines, censuses, and city directories--to reconstruct the lives of the "Cape Horn widows" left behind onshore. Norling begins with the emergence of colonial whalefishery on the island of Nantucket and then follows the industry to mainland New Bedford in the nineteenth century, tracking the parallel shift from a patriarchal world to a more ambiguous Victorian culture of domesticity. Through the sea-wives' compelling and often poignant stories, Norling exposes the painful discrepancies between gender ideals and the reality of maritime life and documents the power of gender to shape both economic development and individual experience.
Natives and Newcomers in Provincial England, 1841-1939
Author: Laura Tabili
Employing the first analysis of the entire population of any British town, this book examines how overseas migrants affected society and culture in South Shields near Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Resituating Britain within global processes of migration and cultural change, it recasts British society pre-1940 as culturally and racially dynamic and diverse.
This collection examines the dynamic experimentation of contemporary women writers from North America, Australia, and the UK. Blurring the dichotomies of the popular and the literary, the fictional and the factual, the essays assembled here offer new approaches to reading contemporary women fiction writers' reconfigurations of history.
American Maritime Culture in the Age of Revolution
Author: Paul A. Gilje
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
"In its ambitious sweep and encyclopedic detail, Gilje's rendering of American maritime culture during the tumultuous century from 1750 to 1850 is unlikely to be surpassed."--"William and Mary Quarterly"
In the nineteenth century, nearly all Native American men living along the southern New England coast made their living traveling the world's oceans on whaleships. Many were career whalemen, spending twenty years or more at sea. Their labor invigorated economically depressed reservations with vital income and led to complex and surprising connections with other Indigenous peoples, from the islands of the Pacific to the Arctic Ocean. At home, aboard ship, or around the world, Native American seafarers found themselves in a variety of situations, each with distinct racial expectations about who was "Indian" and how "Indians" behaved. Treated by their white neighbors as degraded dependents incapable of taking care of themselves, Native New Englanders nevertheless rose to positions of command at sea. They thereby complicated myths of exploration and expansion that depicted cultural encounters as the meeting of two peoples, whites and Indians. Highlighting the shifting racial ideologies that shaped the lives of these whalemen, Nancy Shoemaker shows how the category of "Indian" was as fluid as the whalemen were mobile.
Self-invention and the Life of Hannah Rebecca Burgess, 1834-1917
Author: Megan Taylor Shockley
Publisher: NYU Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
In 1852 Hannah Rebecca Crowell married sea captain William Burgess and set sail. Within three years, Rebecca Burgess had crossed the equator eleven times and learned to navigate a vessel. This title examines how Burgess constructed her own legend and how the town of Sandwich embraced that history as its own.
International Histories of the Waterfront, c.1700—2000
Author: Brad Beaven
Despite the port’s prominence in maritime history, its cultural significance has long been neglected in favour of its role within economic and imperial networks. Defined by their intersection of maritime and urban space, port towns were sites of complex cultural exchanges. This book, the product of international scholarship, offers innovative and challenging perspectives on the cultural histories of ports, ranging from eighteenth-century Africa to twentieth-century Australasia and Europe. The essays in this important collection explore two key themes; the nature and character of ‘sailortown’ culture and port-town life, and the representations of port towns that were forged both within and beyond urban-maritime communities. The book’s exploration of port town identities and cultures, and its use of a rich array of methodological approaches and cultural artefacts, will make it of great interest to both urban and maritime historians. It also represents a major contribution to the emerging, interdisciplinary field of coastal studies.
A Los Angeles Times Best Non-Fiction Book of 2007 A Boston Globe Best Non-Fiction Book of 2007 Amazon.com Editors pick as one of the 10 best history books of 2007 Winner of the 2007 John Lyman Award for U. S. Maritime History, given by the North American Society for Oceanic History "The best history of American whaling to come along in a generation." —Nathaniel Philbrick The epic history of the "iron men in wooden boats" who built an industrial empire through the pursuit of whales. "To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme," Herman Melville proclaimed, and this absorbing history demonstrates that few things can capture the sheer danger and desperation of men on the deep sea as dramatically as whaling. Eric Jay Dolin begins his vivid narrative with Captain John Smith's botched whaling expedition to the New World in 1614. He then chronicles the rise of a burgeoning industry—from its brutal struggles during the Revolutionary period to its golden age in the mid-1800s when a fleet of more than 700 ships hunted the seas and American whale oil lit the world, to its decline as the twentieth century dawned. This sweeping social and economic history provides rich and often fantastic accounts of the men themselves, who mutinied, murdered, rioted, deserted, drank, scrimshawed, and recorded their experiences in journals and memoirs. Containing a wealth of naturalistic detail on whales, Leviathan is the most original and stirring history of American whaling in many decades.