Fighting Men, Enduring Women: Sailors and Their Families in the United Kingdom, 1770-1820
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 09/29/2099
AbstractThis dissertation examines the everyday lives of sailors and their wives in the United Kingdom from 1770 to 1820, establishing the cost of living for women left behind, revising the chronology of the breadwinner wage, and revealing their relationship to their community, charitable organizations, culture, and the state. It brings together a unique combination of sources including parish records, newspapers, Admiralty records, court records, and prints and songs to locate these families who often left few records of their own. By showing the quotidian economic and social realities these families faced, this dissertation reveals not just the importance of the families themselves in propping up valued imperial structures, but how they managed to survive it all. The state and community leaders often viewed sailors and their families as both worthy of and in need of support, a group in need of protection and supervision. By analyzing those relationships, this project shows the negotiated relationships of patriarchy and welfare between sailors, their wives, and charitable and state organizations. It also shows how cultural materials aimed at different audiences portrayed or ignored their quotidian circumstances. Furthermore, by examining the lives of sailors and their wives in port towns in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, this research departs from existing scholarship and better establishes continuities between regions and important differences in their everyday lives.
Degree ProgramGraduate College