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Captain Ahab Had a Wife: New England Women and the Whalefishery, 1720-1870 / Edition 1
     

Captain Ahab Had a Wife: New England Women and the Whalefishery, 1720-1870 / Edition 1

by Lisa Norling
 

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ISBN-10: 0807848700

ISBN-13: 9780807848708

Pub. Date: 10/16/2000

Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press

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

Overview

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807848708
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
10/16/2000
Series:
Gender and American Culture Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
392
Sales rank:
999,402
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.92(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Captain Ahab Had a Wife
1. Nantucket and the Eighteenth-Century Whalefishery
2. Family, Faith, and Community on Colonial Nantucket
3. The Impact of Religious Reform, Revolution, and Romanticism on Nantucket
4. New Bedford and the Nineteenth-Century Whalefishery
5. Love, Marriage, and Family in the Nineteenth-Century Whaling Communities
6. The Failure of Victorian Domesticity on Shore and at Sea
Conclusion: The Nantucket Girls Song
Appendix: Annotated List of Major Informants by Family
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Series List

Maps
The American whaling industry's home region
Major eighteenth-century whaling grounds
Major nineteenth-century whaling grounds

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