Tales of nautical women


We are all familiar with historical images of sailing ships, but the focus is always on the men who built, worked or fought on them. Author Rosemary Caldicott will bring to life a forgotten aspect of the age of sail – the role of women.

She tells of the women of sailor towns, including Pill, 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 gender. We learn about these women’s motivation as well as their adventures and inevitable exposure.

Rosemary’s talk is at Pill Library and Children’s Centre on Wednesday 19 February at 2pm. It challenges stereotypes of women in earlier societies by exposing their struggles against poverty and forced-labour, and revealing the courage of those who ‘ran away to sea’.

It will be of interest to anyone interested in history, sailing, women’s history, and anyone who likes a good true story.

The talk is based on a pamphlet Rosemary has written for the Bristol Radical History Group.

Tickets are free and available from Eventbrite at www.n-somersetlibraries.eventbrite.com/