By the Sea, On the Sea: Fiction and Non-fiction

Two Years Before the Mast

By Richard Henry Dana

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The narrative of the author's journey from Boston around the Cape Horn and landing at a port in the western coast of the United States. A classic work of non-fiction that inspired Melville.

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Up Island

By Anne Rivers Siddons

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A woman experiences devastating changes in her life and takes refuge with a friend on Cape Cod, where she eventually finds hope of a new life.
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Women Sailors & Sailors' Women: An Untold Maritime History

By David Cordingly

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"In this illuminating historical narrative, maritime scholar David Cordingly shows that in fact an astonishing number of women went to sea in the great age of sail. Some traveled as the wives or mistresses of captains. A few were smuggled aboard by officers or seaman. A number of cases have come to light of young women dressing in men's clothes and working alongside the sailors for months, and sometimes years. In the U.S. and Britsh navies, it was not uncommon for the wives of bosuns, carpenters, and cooks to go to sea on warships. Cordingly's tremendous research shows that there was indeed a thriving female population--from female pirates to the sirens of legend--on and around the high seas."

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