An American Seafarer in the Age of Sail: The Erotic Diaries of Philip C. Van Buskirk, 1851-1870

Overview

Philip Van Buskirk enlisted in the U.S. Marines in 1846, when he was twelve years old. Beginning in 1851, he recorded his thoughts and experiences on board ship, providing a firsthand account of the countries he visited, the brawling nation in which he lived, and the everyday life and homoerotic exploits of the sailors and marines who sailed with him. B.R. Burg draws on these unconventional and revelatory diaries and on social, religious, and medical writings of the time to ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (4) from $26.93   
  • New (3) from $26.93   
  • Used (1) from $30.71   
Sending request ...

Overview

Philip Van Buskirk enlisted in the U.S. Marines in 1846, when he was twelve years old. Beginning in 1851, he recorded his thoughts and experiences on board ship, providing a firsthand account of the countries he visited, the brawling nation in which he lived, and the everyday life and homoerotic exploits of the sailors and marines who sailed with him. B.R. Burg draws on these unconventional and revelatory diaries and on social, religious, and medical writings of the time to create a picture of nineteenth-century America that is rarely seen.

The semi-educated son of a once prosperous family, Van Buskirk had the ability and enthusiasm to depict the mores and behavior of the ordinary folk with whom he associated, something other chroniclers of his time did not do. Burg points out that a substantial gulf separated the perceptions and sentiments of literate Americans of this period from those of unlettered Americans. Van Buskirk's journals highlight the differences between these groups and tell of the conflicts that existed as the notions of propriety and morality held by the upper classes were tested by a less-than-deferential underclass.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Philip Van Buskirk, a 12-year-old who joined the U.S. Marines in 1846 as a music boy, played drums on a Navy ship, first in the Mexican War and then with the East India Squadron in 1851. He kept a diary recording life aboard ship and his adventures on liberty. Burg, a professor of history at Arizona State University, has constructed an intriguing narrative from the diaries, which span the years 1851-1870 and are indeed, as the subtitle notes, intimate. Van Buskirk describes his own and others' homoerotic acts, which apparently occurred frequently on warships and were ignored by superiors. Middle-class, with some schooling, he also writes of his unpopularity with his rough-and-tumble mates. The diaries provide an illuminating glimpse of class differences of the period as well as sex mores. Naval and social historians will find this book valuable source material. (Apr.)
Library Journal
This fascinating volume relates the adventures of a young man who began a rather checkered career in the navy in 1846 as a drummer boy. Covering his life from teen years to his mid-thirties, these diaries give the reader real insight into seafaring life in those days. Considerable space is devoted to the subject's pursuit of attractive boys, as homoerotic activities were evidently very much a part of navy life. By the end of the account, Van Buskirk receives a commission. Much land activity takes place in the Washington, D.C., and Maryland areas. Despite the book's many intriguing passages, its appeal is limited to those having a definite interest in this period and area of activity. For regional and large maritime history collections.-- Robert E. Greenfield, formerly with Baltimore Cty. P.L.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300199772
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2013
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2010

    Wow what a diffence a century brings to the evolution of sexuality

    This book was not what I was expecting. It was interesting to read, disturbing in most places. An academic author, the book reads more like a college paper than a biographical novel. Title does not suit the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)