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.
—Stephen R. Bown, award-winning author of The Company: The Rise and Fall of the Hudson’s Bay Empire
—R. Bruce Macdonald, author of Never Say P*g: The Book of Sailors' Superstitions and Sisters of the Ice: The True Story of How St. Roch and North Star of Herschel Island Protected Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
—John M. MacFarlane, FRGS, curator of the Nauticapedia Project and curator emeritus of the Maritime Museum of British Columbia
—Joanna Kafarowski, author of The Polar Adventures of a Rich American Dame: A Life of Louise Arner Boyd