My new book – Nautical Women – out soon

In Nautical Women, I explore the stories of women whose lives were inextricably linked to the sea.

I tell of the women of coastal sailortowns struggling to keep out of the dreaded workhouse and resisting the prowling press gangs; and of the courageous and skilful cross-dressing women sailors who went to extraordinary lengths to hide their true gender.  We learn about these women’s motivation as well as their adventures and inevitable exposure.

I also consider the fate of African women who were forced onto vessels to be traded and sold as slaves. The lives of black women soldiers and sailors, disguised as men, who sailed on Royal African Company vessels to and from West Africa are described, in particular the tragic voyage of the Hannibal in 1693.

Nautical Women challenges our stereotypes of women in earlier societies by uncovering their harsh working conditions and revealing their courage

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