Ships and sea-faring were parts of daily life and culture in the Atlantic World port of Fredericksburg. This was especially the case for the Fielding Lewis family, who became wealthy through shipping, ship owning, and ship building. Wednesday’s Lives & Legacies entry recounted a typical sea voyage around the Atlantic Ocean by the Stanton, a brig owned by John Lewis, Fielding’s father.
Ships, the sea, and the Atlantic World even seeped into Fielding’s reading life. In her latest post on The Rooms at Kenmore blog, Curator Meghan Budinger discusses our efforts to collect books owned by Fielding Lewis. Her blog entry deals with one book in particular called The Voyages, Dangerous Adventures and Imminent Escapes of Captain Richard Falconer, an adventure story of life at sea in the 1700s.
As Meghan notes, his choice to include Captain Falconer in his library “may be a nod to Fielding’s lifelong association with merchant vessels, both his father’s fleet and his own.” It also demonstrates that the Atlantic World was about far more than moving goods across oceans. It reached into every aspect of life for the peoples living within reach of the great Atlantic Ocean, even into their literature.
Read about the mystery behind this book on The Rooms at Kenmore.