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|Mrs Croft´s life on board
Written by MarianneR
(10/14/2008 5:00 a.m.)
Besides being a fan of Mrs Croft because of her character (this would be an interesting subject for another thread!) I like the accounts she gives of living on board a ship being a woman. In ch.8 she raves:
"I have crossed the Atlantic four times, and have been once to the East Indies and back again, and only once; besides being in different places about home: Cork, and Lisbon, and Gibraltar."
This makes me a bit envious and I might like to have lived a life like she did. Then she goes on telling:
"Women may be as comfortable on board, as in the best house in England. I believe I have lived as much on board as most women, and I know nothing superior to the accommodations of a man-of-war. I declare I have not a comfort or an indulgence about me, even at Kellynch Hall," (with a kind bow to Anne) "beyond what I always had in most of the ships I have lived in; and they have been five altogether."
In the conversation with Mrs Musgrove she confirms her opinion:
"And I do assure you, ma'am," pursued Mrs. Croft, "that nothing can exceed the accommodations of a man-of-war; I speak, you know, of the higher rates. When you come to a frigate, of course, you are more confined; though any reasonable woman may be perfectly happy in one of them; and I can safely say, that the happiest part of my life has been spent on board a ship."
Here I am a bit suspicious. Why is she convinced that she couldn´t have been better accommodated than on a ship? Is it because she was the only woman and everyone would be extraordinary polite and attentive? This leads me to another question: What did she actually do on board a ship? There was a cook I suppose, as well as other servants to her aid. But she had no friends to visit, no relatives to chat with. This seems kind of boring to me. So I can´t make up my mind whether I would have liked to be in her shoes...
Can anybody explain to me the role of an Admiral´s wife? I am very curious...
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