Richard Wragg1
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  • 1 National Maritime Museum
A Naval Wife: The Letters of Susannah Middleton
in Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
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In 1805 Susannah Middleton travelled with her husband, Captain Robert Middleton, to Gibraltar where he was to run the naval dockyard. Abroad for the first time, Susannah maintained a regular correspondence with her sister in England. Casting light on a collection of letters yet to be fully published, the paper gives an account of Susannah‘s experiences as described to her sister. Consideration is given to Susannah‘s position as the wife of a naval officer and her own view of the role she had to play in her husband‘s success. Written at a time when an officers wife could greatly improve his hopes for advancement through the judicious use of social skills, the Middleton letters provide evidence of an often overlooked aspect of the workings of the Royal Navy.

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