Body and Gender Expressed by the Cross-Dressing of Hannah Snell in Eighteenth-century Naval Culture in The Female Soldier; Or, the Surprising Life and Adventures of Hannah Snell

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Author: Yoriko Ishida
Email: yoriko@oshima-k.ac.jp
Published: December 1, 2018
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijl.7.1.05

Citation: Ishida, Y. (2016). Body and Gender Expressed by the Cross-Dressing of Hannah Snell in Eighteenth-century Naval Culture in The Female Soldier; Or, the Surprising Life and Adventures of Hannah Snell, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijl.7.1.05


Abstract

Hannah Snell is arguably considered the most famous woman who embarked on warships as a marine in men’s clothes. Astonishingly, she was able to be involved with missions as a seaman for more than four years without anyone discovering her true identity. Although her experiences were portrayed in some magazines, such as Gentlemen’s Magazine and Scots Magazine, and books published in Holland and England, her life entered history as fact through The Female Soldier; Or, The Surprising Life and Adventures of Hannah Snell by Robert Walker, a London newspaper printer. This paper addresses Walker’s first edition as a primary source because it was written after hearing directly from Hanna Snell, which means it can be recognized as being closer to the truth than the expanded edition. I examine the significance of female cross-dressing aboard male-dominated naval ships by analyzing the body of Hannah Snell as depicted in The Female Soldier.

Keywords

Hannah Snell, cross-dressing, naval vessels, masculinity, femininity, women marines