What do you do with a shipwrecked sailor? Extreme weather, shipwreck, and civic responsibility in nineteenth century Liverpool

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Abstract

Using press reports of a minor shipwreck within Liverpool's port jurisdiction, this essay applies a microhistorical approach to examine the intersection of extreme weather, a dangerous shore, and the urban-maritime microcosm of a major port. It shows how an extreme weather event acted as a catalyst in reactivating debates about civic and social responsibility for seafarers in 1840s Liverpool. It considers how the experience of the shipwrecked crew was depicted by the press and their sufferings instrumentalized in discourse about the welfare of shipwreck survivors and sheds light on larger debates about charity and philanthropy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVictorian Review: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Victorian Studies
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 23 Jul 2021

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