Enter the Press-gang: Naval Impressment in Eighteenth-century British Literature
"Even as press-gangs roamed the London streets, eighteenth-century writers applauded, critiqued, and condemned the practice Pepys called "a great tyranny" - the means of naval recruitment by which Britain simultaneously manned her fleets and oppressed her citizens." "This book centers on literature produced in "moments of crisis" - times when Britain faced a military challenge and thus needed her Navy most. When the French gained the upper hand early in the Seven Years' War, David Garrick was moved to write "To honour we call you, not press you like slaves, / For who are so free as we sons of the waves?" This characterization of the press as benign was common in the theater, even as sailors brawled with press-gangs on London Bridge. At the same time, novelists bitterly attacked impressment policy, showing how the press weighs most heavily on the poor."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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Admiral Admiralty Adventures anti-impressment appear ashore battle Britain Britons broadside ballads captain century crew cultural David Garrick Defoe desertion Dugaw Edward eighteenth eighteenth-century British England English Equiano example fact fiction fleet French gang Garrick genre Hammon Heart of Oak Henry Willoughby Hutchinson Ibid impressed sailor impressment ballads impressment narratives Jack Jacob Nagle John landmen Lieutenant literary lives London Marcus mariners Marrant marriage Mary Wollstonecraft ment Mutiny N. A. M. Rodger Napoleonic nation nautical drama naval impressment naval service Nicol novel officers Olaudah Equiano Oxford pamphlet patriotic plays points political popular practice press-gang pressment Quaker recruits representation of impressment Richardson Roderick Random Rodger Royal Navy sail Sailor's Advocate Samuel Pepys seamen Seller ship Skylight slave slavery Smollett social song Spanish Stage story suggests tender texts theater tion Tobias Smollett Tom Jones trade tradition University Press Valiant Virgin vessel voyage William women writers York
Page 6 - No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned. . . . A man in jail has more room, better food and commonly better company.