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.
- life writing
- shipboard diary
- infant mortality
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- School of Language, Literature, Music & Visual Culture, English - Lecturer
- WORD Centre for Creative Writing