Caroline Hanken

Caroline Hanken read anthropology at the Free University of Amsterdam. She took her doctorate in 1996 with a thesis entitled Gekust door de koning (‘Kissed by the King’). This study of royal mistresses at the French court during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries has been translated into German, Spanish and Hungarian.

Sebald’s Voyages

Sebald’s Voyages

Het verlangen van de zeeman in de zeventiende eeuw

(J.M. Meulenhoff, 2001, 208 pages)

Life at sea, according to an eighteenth-century eyewitness, was at least as hard as life in prison. Why then did sailors not seek a more pleasant life on land instead of squandering the money they had scraped together, often over the years, in taverns within a few weeks? To show what being a sailor or a merchantman was like, Caroline Hanken has created an imaginary character, Sebald, whose experiences at sea are based on those recorded by real sailors.

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