Captain Ahab Had a Wife: New England Women and the Whalefishery, 1720-1870

This book has some smatterings of women’s reading matter but most of it is ashore. An exception:

p. 259, where Julia Fisk joins her husband Silas’s ship, and Lydia Sigourney approves: My dear Mrs. Fisk, I have just received your letter saying you have decided to sail with your husband, and hasten to send you both some books,–to which I add a few pamphlets and periodicals,–thinking light reading might be agreeable on so long a voyage, and that you might like some to distribute to the sailors….

p. 260: To Sigourney, even a whaling voyage could be domesticated by bringing along some reading and some peppermints…. Sigourney suggested that Mrs Fisk might distribute appropriately improving reading to the sailors, thereby extending a Christian woman’s moral influence not only over her husband but also over the crew.