Tuesday, January 24

Naval Wives and Mistresses

Naval Wives and Mistresses 
by Margarette Lincoln
A brief review by Tony Gerard

“This book aims to fill the gap between social and maritime history.” That is the first sentence of the book’s introduction. Having said that- it’s not light reading. Lincoln has approached the topic is a scholarly and academic manner.

Lincoln basically divides female society in regards to the British navy into three segments, the Aristocracy, the “Middling–Sort” and the “Laboring and Criminal classes”. She deals with each segment individually.  Due to the scarcity of written material from the “Laboring and Criminal Classes” most of the information here is implied from other sources.  She does a good job of covering various forms of welfare and charities that were available to the wives of sailors during the period.

While it’s not a riveting “page turner” I do recommend this book for the women of the Acasta. I would recommend first, however, “Jane Austen’s England” by Roy and Lesley Adkins. These two books in conjunction would give a nice background for anyone portraying a sailor’s wife in the Acasta time period.

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