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The Captain's Widow of SandwichSelf-Invention and the Life of Hannah Rebecca Burgess, 1834-1917$
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Megan Taylor Shockley

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814783191

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814783191.001.0001

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Challenges and Transitions

Challenges and Transitions

Shifting Identities

(p.83) 4 Challenges and Transitions
The Captain's Widow of Sandwich

Megan Taylor Shockley

NYU Press

This chapter depicts a shift in Rebecca's character as detailed in two journals that hold information of her time aboard the clipper ship, Challenger. Her prose describes a woman whose main concerns are for her own health, the safety of the crew and ship, the condition of her own soul, and her family at home. Rebecca no longer wrote herself as a character who loved the sea, but as a woman extremely homesick and burdened with worries. The log Rebecca kept during her voyage from London to Chile tracks William's health, which most likely consumed both her time and attention in the summer and fall of 1856. Together these two journals suggest that Rebecca perceived herself as a woman in deep spiritual and personal crisis who felt she had to maintain control over the ship in late 1856.

Keywords:   Challenger, clipper ship, William's health, 1856, spiritual crisis, personal crisis

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