Woman, Captain, Rebel: The Extraordinary True Story of a Daring Icelandic Sea Captain (Sourcebooks)
March 08, 2023 at 6:00 PM (Pacific Time) University Book Store
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A daring and magnificent historical narrative nonfiction account of Iceland's most famous female sea captain who constantly fought for women's rights and equality—and who also solved one of the country's most notorious robberies.
Every day was a fight for survival, equality, and justice for Iceland's most renowned female fishing captain of the 19th century.
History would have us believe the sea has always been a male realm, the idea of female captains almost unthinkable. But there is one exception, so notable she defies any expectation.
This is her remarkable story.
Captain Thurídur, born in Iceland in 1777, lived a life that was both controversial and unconventional. Her first time fishing, on the open unprotected rowboats of her time, was at age 11. Soon after, she audaciously began wearing trousers. She later became an acclaimed fishing captain brilliant at weather-reading and seacraft and consistently brought in the largest catches. In the Arctic seas where drownings occurred with terrifying regularity, she never lost a single crewmember. Renowned for her acute powers of observation, she also solved a notorious crime. In this extremely unequal society, she used the courts to fight for justice for the abused, and in her sixties, embarked on perilous journeys over trackless mountains.
Weaving together fastidious research and captivating prose, Margaret Willson reveals Captain Thurídur's fascinating story, her extraordinary courage, intelligence, and personal integrity.
Through adventure, oppression, joy, betrayal, and grief, Captain Thurídur speaks a universal voice. Here is a woman so ahead of her times she remains modern and inspirational today. Her story can now finally be told.
Anthropologist and writer, Margaret Willson has researched and worked in Brazil, Papua New Guinea, Mongolia, Australia, Europe, and Iceland. Her eclectic nonacademic jobs have included abalone diving and being a deckhand on fishing boats off the south coast of Tasmania. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the London School of Economics and is currently an Affiliate Associate Professor with the Departments of Anthropology and Scandinavian Studies at the University of Washington, and a Senior Associate Scientist at the Stafánsson Arctic Institute in Iceland. Her previous books include Seawomen of Iceland: Survival on the Edge (University of Washington Press 2016, Finalist Washington State Nonfiction Book of the Year 2017) and Dance Lest We All Fall Down: Breaking Cycles of Poverty in Brazil and Beyond (University of Washington Press 2010, Silver Medal in Multicultural Nonfiction, Independent Book Awards). She lives in Seattle.