Silk Sails – Women of Newfoundland and Their Ships

Author: Calvin Evans
Genre: Non-Fiction
Dimensions: 12 × 8 × 2 in
Weight: 1 kg
Published: November 13, 2008
ISBN: 1-55081-242-4
EAN: 978-1-55081-242-8

As Silk Sails demonstrates, existing records show that women of the Atlantic region were owners of boats, ships, and waterfront properties from as early as 1650.

Womens’ involvement in early fishing adventures as sole owners and “co-partners in trade” was real and substantial. This sample of approximately 500 Newfoundland women depicts a hardy, durable and tenacious woman who was more than equal to the challenges and opportunities of her time. The study is complemented by interviews with some of the women who had owned working ships from the 1930s to the 1960s. A companion volume on more than 1,000 women ship owners of the Maritime provinces, Ontario and Quebec is in progress.


“Silk Sails is a welcome addition to the historical literature about women in Atlantic Canada. Its strengths are the excellent primary research and the richly detailed brief biographies of shipowning women in Newfoundland between the late 17th century and the 1960s.”

– Janet Guilford, Literary Review Canada

“Illuminating [and] meticulously researched … this book demonstrates an impressive level of research and depth of inquiry. It makes an urgent and vital contribution to scholarship, while advancing popular understanding of a little-known aspect of our social history. Ask for this terrific book.”

– Darrell Squires, The Western Star

“Silk Sails goes on the shelf with Story’s Dictionary [of Newfoundland English], Seary’s Family Names [of the Island of Newfoundland] and a few dozen other essential works.”

– Robin McGrath, The Telegram

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