Frances Barkley

Eighteenth-century Seafarer

By (author): Cathy Converse
ISBN 9781772034417
Softcover | Publication Date: April 4, 2023
Book Dimensions: 5.5 in. x 8.5 in.
144 Pages
$12.95 CAD

About the Book

A rivetingly imagined re-telling of the voyages of Frances Barkley (1769–1845), who as a young woman travelled the world on a trading mission with her sea captain husband.

Over two hundred years ago, Frances Barkley, a seventeen-year-old girl fresh out of a convent school in France, met twenty-six-year-old sea captain, fell deeply in love, and married him after a six-week courtship. Five weeks later, she stepped aboard his ship, the Imperial Eagle, to set sail on an eight-year voyage that would take them around the world twice.

Frances Barkley’s story is a remarkable one. It is a story born of discovery, of firsts, of hardship, of disease, of illness, and of death. Relying on her strength of character and wit, this young woman survived fierce seas, shipwreck, and capture by pirates. When Frances was approaching her seventh decade, at the behest of her daughter, she put pen to paper and wrote down what she could remember of her life with her husband in the merchant sea trade.

Frances Barkley: Eighteenth-century Seafarer is not simply a re-issue of Frances’s own reminiscences, but a work of creative non-fiction—an extensive reimagining of her time at sea, supplemented through extensive historical, geographic, and nautical research.

About the Author(s)

Cathy Converse is an award-winning author and historian whose career has spanned more than thirty years. She is the author of Following the Curve of Time: The Untold Story of Capi Blanchet and Against the Current: The Remarkable Life of Agnes Deans Cameron. For more information, please visit