- Series: Heroines and Hellions of the Sea
- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st Touchstone Ed edition (March 6, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0684856913
- ISBN-13: 978-0684856919
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,395,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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She Captains: Heroines and Hellions of the Sea 1st Touchstone Ed Edition
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Karin Winegar Minneapolis Star Tribune Great reading, especially for those who love tales of risk, glory, gritty adventure, and action-packed history.
David Hays coauthor of My Old Man and the Sea Joan Druett's She Captains sweeps across the decks as a gale of tales -- saucy and surprising, always seaworthy. A sparkling voyage.
Donna Seaman Booklist Druett is as valued for her jaunty storytelling as she is for reclaiming the forgotten lives of seafaring women....Maritime lore has always been rich in romance and suffering; Druett's revelations increase its fascination tenfold.
About the Author
Joan Druett, an award-winning writer of nautical nonfiction, is the author of numerous works, including Hen Frigates and In the Wake of Madness. She lives in New Zealand. Visit her website at www.joan.druett.gen.nz.
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Beatie Fry's running a training ship for future sailors until her death in 1946. Author Joan Druett presents women sea warriors Atwilda "the Danish Female Pirate" and the Danish raider Alfhild who "exchanged woman's for man's attire, and, no longer the most modest of maidens, began the life of a warlike rover." Included are Mary Read who went to sea dressed as a man and with Anne Bonny had a successful pirate career until her capture in 1720. Druett tells of women went to sea dressed as men out of economic necessity such as Elizabeth Stephens and some to accompany lovers like Jeanne Bare, probably the first woman to complete a world circumnavigation in 1769.
The book provides opens doors into a fascinating aspect of nautical history and includes comprehensive source information on each chapter. Illustrations by Ron Druett throughout add to visualization of the adventures of sea-fairing women.
In addition, the book really bothered me for its lack of quality research. The author relied too much upon myths and stereotypes to embellish her story. In particular, the chapter about the Vikings contained a lot of misinformation, most from romanticized tales from the Victorian era. A 30-second web search would have told her that the Vikings didn't wear horned helmets, that they ate a lot more than plain, boiled meat (as traders and farmers, they had access to a variety of fruit, vegetables, herbs, and spices), etc. They were a lot more sophisticated than Druett made out.
It's fine as light reading and a quick overview of the topic, but the devil's in the details.
The book gets slightly more on-topic after the introduction is over, mentioning famous female pirates like Anne Bonney, Mary Reed, Cheng I Sao, and Grace O'Malley. However, I got the impression that the author didn't really have enough information to write an entire book, and had to fill it out with quite a few stories of women married to or involved with sailors, but who were not in fact sailors themselves. Still, some of the stories were engaging, if thinly researched, and there was some interesting information about women in the whaling industry. This book is of more use as a starting point for research than a reference in and of itself.