A good example of the so-called petticoat whaler, the Captain’s wife. This is a fairly calm memoir with some observations about the business of whaling, and frequent reference to books, newspapers, and letters but seldom with any reading details.
p. 15-16: July 24th 1871: her husband finished her birth day present, a book case: “It is a real beautie.”
p. 23: when visiting another ship she exchanged papers and books and a straw hat with the captain’s wife of the General Scott.
p. 38, April 28 1872, another exchange between Captain’s wives, this one an “Inglish Lady” from the Novelty, a merchant vessel: On coming away she gave me a bundle of papers and seven bound books and a can of blue berries and also a jar of preserved ginger and half a dozen eggs.
p. 40, July 10th in Mowang she is given a book, a Malay singing book.
p. 41: After seeing my letters had the stamps on and knowing they were all right he [her husband] went aboard of the Adeline Gibbs with Capt Forman and got some books and papers that the Capt had read and wanted to exchange with me for some that I had read so they come aboard of us and I gave him a bundle.
p. 47, getting some newspapers from another ship she reads of her father’s death: No one can ever know how I felt on reading that. After I got over the first terrible shock no pen can ever discribe my feelings.
p. 50, April 4, 1873: I have got so tired of thinking. It is all I have to do is to sit and sew and think.
p. 61: The sabbath day. It seems very long…. Been reading some, went to bed this afternoon and had a nape to pass away the time.
p. 67 and 77, more mention of newspapers, including some Spanish ones that no one could read.