Whaler Off The Vineyard Outward Bound By William Bradford, 1859

Seminar Series: Captain Ahab had a Wife with Lisa Norling 14 March 2020

The Saturday, 14 March 2020 seminar has been cancelled.

Dr. Lisa Norling is unable to attend the seminar on Saturday 14 March, and out of an abundance of caution over the coronavirus (COVID-19) we have made the proactive decision to cancel this event.  We hope to reschedule Dr. Norling’s presentation on Captain Ahab had a Wife at a later date.


Whaling was a thriving industry in America from the late 1700s to the mid-1800s.  Hundreds of men went to sea for months or years working in this brutal and often fatal industry.  Little has been written on the women who stayed behind and how they maintained family life while their husbands were away.  Dr. Lisa Norling, author-historian and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, uses poignant firsthand accounts from a variety of sources, including women’s and men’s letters and diaries, shipowners’ records, church records, newspapers and magazines, censuses and city directories, to examine life for these ‘sea-wives’ in the age of whaling.