Iron Men, Wooden Women

Overview

From the voyage of the Argonauts to the Tailhook scandal, seafaring has long been one of the most glaringly male-dominated occupations. In this groundbreaking interdisciplinary study, Margaret Creighton, Lisa Norling, and their co-authors explore the relationship of gender and seafaring in the Anglo-American age of sail. Drawing on a wide range of American and British sources—from diaries, logbooks, and account ledgers to songs, poetry, fiction, and a range of public sources—the authors show how popular ...

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Overview

From the voyage of the Argonauts to the Tailhook scandal, seafaring has long been one of the most glaringly male-dominated occupations. In this groundbreaking interdisciplinary study, Margaret Creighton, Lisa Norling, and their co-authors explore the relationship of gender and seafaring in the Anglo-American age of sail. Drawing on a wide range of American and British sources—from diaries, logbooks, and account ledgers to songs, poetry, fiction, and a range of public sources—the authors show how popular fascination with seafaring and the sailors' rigorous, male-only life led to models of gender behavior based on "iron men" aboard ship and "stoic women" ashore.

Yet Iron Men, Wooden Women also offers new material that defies conventional views. The authors investigate such topics as women in the American whaling industry and the role of the captain's wife aboard ship. They explore the careers of the female pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read, as well as those of other women—"transvestite heroines"—who dressed as men to serve on the crews of sailing ships. And they explore the importance of gender and its connection to race for African American and other seamen in both the American and the British merchant marine. Contributors include both social historians and literary critics: Marcus Rediker, Dianne Dugaw, Ruth Wallis Herndon, Haskell Springer, W. Jeffrey Bolster, Laura Tabili, Lillian Nayder, and Melody Graulich, in addition to Margaret Creighton and Lisa Norling.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Llyod's List - Alan Cameron
Its impact on traditional (and erroneous) ideas of roles of male and female in relation to seafaring is a stirring one.
Llyod's List
Its impact on traditional (and erroneous) ideas of roles of male and female in relation to seafaring is a stirring one.

— Alan Cameron

Booknews
A collection of ten essays exploring gender relations in maritime culture during the period of Anglo-American domination of international shipping. Topics include an exploration of the lives of pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read; women and the American whaling industry, 1820-1870; gender in the lives of African American seamen, 1800-1860; and history and gender in Conrad's maritime fiction. Paper edition (unseen), $16.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801851605
  • Publisher: Hopkins Fulfillment Service
  • Publication date: 4/22/1996
  • Series: Gender Relations in the American Experience Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 316
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret S. Creighton teaches history at Bates College. Lisa Norling teaches history at the University of Minnesota.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Contributors
1 Liberty beneath the Jolly Roger: The Lives of Anne Bonny and Mary Read, Pirates 1
2 Female Sailors Bold: Transvestite Heroines and the Markers of Gender and Class 34
3 The Domestic Cost of Seafaring: Town Leaders and Seamen's Families in Eighteenth-Century Rhode Island 55
4 Ahab's Wife: Women and the American Whaling Industry, 1820-1870 70
5 The Captain's Wife at Sea 92
6 Davy Jones' Locker Room: Gender and the American Whaleman, 1830-1870 118
7 "Every Inch a Man": Gender in the Lives of African American Seamen, 1800-1860 138
8 "A Maritime Race": Masculinity and the Racial Division of Labor in British Merchant Ships, 1900-1939 169
9 Sailing Ships and Steamers, Angels and Whores: History and Gender in Conrad's Maritime Fiction 189
10 Opening Windows toward the Sea: Harmony and Reconciliation in American Women's Sea Literature 204
Notes 227
Index 287
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