read: 9 October 2002
Cordingly says in the preface of his book that he originally meant to do a slightly different book, one about women sailors. However, he had a hard time dredging up facts about these women and so he expanded his scope and wrote a book about women sailors, women pirates, women left ashore, women prostitutes that served sailors and the mothers and wives of sailors. This disjointed topic sphere does cause some troubles. Cordingly is an amazing researcher -- the things he was able to dig up, some dating back to the 1700’s -- are nothing short of astonishing. however, ghood research does not always a readbale book make. Some of these chapters -- on less interesting subjects like the wives and mothers of sailors -- are downright dull. They hop from well-researched anecdote to well-researched anecdote without letting hte author really tie them all together or breathe life into them. I wound up knowing a little about many subjects and wishing I’d read a pop history book about the subject -- something with a bit more of a narrative -- than this recitation of facts.
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