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Written by Leslie VZ
(10/17/2008 9:53 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Deal, penned by JulieW
Even though JA is laughing at Mrs. Musgrove at this point, I like the comparison between Mrs. Croft and Mrs. Musgrove. I have read a couple of books that cover each woman's perspective: Of Women Sailors and Sailors' Women, by David Cordingly and A Gentleman's Daughter by Amanda Vickery.
The first of these gives great descriptions of the long separations that had to be endured by the wives of men at sea. Due to the sometimes less than voluntary commitment to the profession, lower-ranking crewmen often were denied the permission to go ashore at all. If the ship were in port for a while, wives would be rowed out to the ship to visit their husbands there. Furthermore, Cordingly gives examples of women who put to sea. Despite what CW says about never allowing women aboard his ship, officers were often allowed to have their wives live with them in their quarters.
The second book that I am put in mind of is Vickery's history of the lives of women in Georgian England (thank you very much to members of this site who have suggested it in the past). She quotes many letters in which wives complain of their husband's absences in very much the same tone that Mrs. Musgrove uses about Mr. Musgrove going to the Assizes.
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