Date: 2011-05-29 07:15 pm (UTC)
legionseagle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] legionseagle
Actually, there were surprisingly numbers of women aboard at the relevant period; when one woman applied for the medal given to all participants in the great Napoleonic sea battles from the Nile onwards she was refused on the basis that the Admiralty would be deluged by similar requests.

It's also worth looking up Mary Lacy, the female shipwright, whose biography is available from the Greenwich Maritime museum.

My understanding about "show a leg" was that it wasn't to find disguised women sailors on the payroll, but to sort out the actual sailors from the whores (who weren't expected to hand, reef or steer)
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The Monstrous Regiment of Women

May 2011

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