A place to mourn? Emotion, genre, and child death in the Lady Egidia shipboard diaries

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Abstract

This article examines three shipboard diaries written on the Lady Egidia during its voyage from Greenock, Scotland to Otago, New Zealand in winter, 1860. All three diaries bear witness to the deaths of thirty children during the journey. This analysis explores what can be learned about nineteenth-century attitudes toward children's deaths by considering the generic parameters of shipboard diaries. The article highlights the challenges and pitfalls of using such diaries to chart the emotional experiences of nineteenth-century emigrants by emphasizing the diary's status as documents whose composition was framed by specific generic limits and audience expectations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-43
Number of pages14
JournalVictorians: A Journal of Culture and Literature
Volume133
Early online date28 Jun 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

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Keywords

  • death
  • life writing
  • shipboard diary
  • emigration
  • emotion
  • infant mortality

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