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"But while all this went on by land, very few people thought about die sea. They took it for granted that the sea was calm; and there was no need, as there is in 1nany houses when the creeper taps on d1e bedroom windows, for the couples to nnirmur before they kiss, 'Think of the ships to-night,' or 'Thank Heaven, I'm not the man in the lighthouse!' For all theyimagined, the ships when theyvanished on the sky-line dissolved, like snow in water. The grmm-up view, indeed, was not much dearer than die view of the little creatures in bathing drawers who were trotting in to the foam all along the coasts of England, and scooping up buckets full ofwater. They saw white sails or tufts ofsmoke pass across the horizon, ai:vJ ifyou had said that these were waterspouts, or the P<:tals of white sea flowers, theywonld h e agreed." Chapter 11, Tue Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf

Booth Line postcard ofRMS Anselm (II ) of 1905, painted by Norman Wilkinson (1909). Note the Braz ilian flag on the head ofthe foremast.

she was pronounced a rramp, a cargo-boar, or one of chose wrerched lirrle passe nger sreamers where people rolled abour among rhe carrle on deck." Whereas rhe ocean liners of rhe early rwenrierh cenrury boasred ronnage in excess of30,000 rons and speeds char rook chem across rhe Aclamic in as lirrle as six days, one may exrrapolare rhe Euphrosyne was roughly only 400 feer in lengrh and 5,000 rons, and rook a leisurely six weeks ro make her journey ro Brazil-similar in size and irinerary ro borh rhe Anselm and Madeirense. By serring rhe sro ry on an inrermediare cargo vessel, Woolf gave herself plenry of rime ro craft relationships berween rhe novel's characters and ro develop Rachel, rhe naive daughrer of rhe shipowner who is nor on ly on her fi rsr voyage, bur on her firsr significanr venrure away from home. Passengers aboard rheEuphrosyneenjoyed access ro rwo decks, which conrained a ladies' lounge, smoking room, dining room, garden lounge, and a passenger deck promenade, all spaces typ ical of rhe period-and wh ich seem ro mimic almosr exacdy rhe deck plans of borh Boorh Line ships in which Woolf sailed. Genderspecific passenger spaces we re common in char era, and Woolf's

SEA HISTORY 137, WINTER2011-12

inclusion of a ladies' lounge on rhe Euphrosyne-used for reading, wriring lerrers, and co nversing-offers a glimpse inro gender ro les and onboard life while our ar sea: "When rhe ship was fu ll chis aparrmenr bore some magnificem ride and was rhe resorr of elderly sea-sick ladies who left rhe deck ro rheir yo ungers. By virtue of rhe piano, and a mess of books on rhe floor, Rachel considered ir her room, and rhere she wo uld sir for hours playing very difficulr music, reading a lirde German, or a lirde English when rhe mood rook her, and doing-as ar chis momenr-absolurely norhing." Beyond rhe on board spaces, The Voyage Out also refl ecrs rhe rimeless persecuror of chose who crave! by ship-seasickness. Woolf had experienced some rough seas on her rerurn passage from Portugal, wriring char rhe "boar rolled, & we were slighdy ill! " In her novel, she presemed a somerimes-comic acco unr ofa pirching ship, where her characrers barde rhe elemenrs: "Mrs. Ambrose's worse suspicions were confirmed; she wenr down rhe passage lurching from side ro side, fending off rhe wall now wirh her righr arm, now wirh her lefr; ar each lurch she exclaimed empharically, 'Damn! '" Woolf includes rhe practice of drinking champagne as a cure for seasickness, a widely accepred remedy ar rhe turn of rhe rwenrierh

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Sea History 137 - Winter 2011-2012  

10 The War of 1812: Year Three-1814, by William H. White • 18 Measure of the Earth: Navigation, Science, and the War of Jenkins's Ear, by L...

Sea History 137 - Winter 2011-2012  

10 The War of 1812: Year Three-1814, by William H. White • 18 Measure of the Earth: Navigation, Science, and the War of Jenkins's Ear, by L...

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