Stories of sea voyages, especially first-person accounts, are a source of enduring fascination, full of discovery, endurance, survival, and larger-than-life characters—usually men. In The Sea Journal: Seafarers’ Sketchbooks, historian Huw Lewis-Jones collects diaries, letters, and drawings, made at sea, “as if curating a kind of global exhibition of rare artworks and personal materials,” he says. “But of course this is only possible where journals, diaries, and sketchbooks survive.” Among those are the rare but compelling tales of the women who endured the hardships of life at sea: de Freycinet and her cross-dressing predecessor, botanist Jeanne Baret; Nantucket whaling captain’s wife Susan Veeder; and aristocratic English traveler Annie Brassey. “They faced the same challenges the men did,” says Lewis-Jones, “and then some.”
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