Atlantic Families: Lives and Letters in the Later Eighteenth Century

TitleAtlantic Families: Lives and Letters in the Later Eighteenth Century
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsPearsall, Sarah M. S.
Number of Pages294
PublisherOxford University Press

The Atlantic represented a world of opportunity in the eighteenth century, but it represented division also, separating families across its coasts. Whether due to economic shifts, changing political landscapes, imperial ambitions, or even simply personal tragedy, many families found themselves fractured and disoriented by the growth and later fissure of a larger Atlantic world. Such dislocation posed considerable challenges to all individuals who viewed orderly family relations as both a general and a personal ideal. The author explores the lives and letters of these families, revealing the sometimes shocking stories of those divided by sea. Ranging across the Anglophone Atlantic, including mainland American colonies and states, Britain, and the British Caribbean, the author argues that it was this expanding Atlantic world - much more than the American Revolution - that reshaped contemporary ideals about families, as much as families themselves reshaped the transatlantic world.

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