Shanty Evil…an Interview with Elizabeth Bradshaw

JC: So, Elizabeth, why did you choose Mary Boland upon sight at the Harbor in Queensbury?


EB: Look, ducks, she was a pretty thing. So dirty I couldn’t stand near her for the stink, but I got an eye, I do. Under all that dirt was something I could sell.


JC: Sell?


EB: Of course. Sailors on long voyages have needs, y’know? I’ve been making my keep for years finding pretty young things for the sailors. Got a pretty pence for this one.


JC: So, you never were a lady in waiting to Queen Victoria?


EB: Aw ducks. Did you fall for that bollocks? Moira did, but you? It’s not like you just got off the boat yourself, is it?


JC: What made you think of the lie?


EB: Well, see, Victoria was visiting in Ireland. They named a place over by Killarney Ladies View because of how much her Ladies loved sitting there looking at the lake. Moira was living in Killarney, so once on a visit, I met her and told her I was one of those fine Ladies in Waiting. She’s a sap, I knew she’d fall for it.


JC: Didn’t it bother you to know what those sailors would do to Mary? She was such an innocent.


EB: Nah. Same thing happened to me in London when I was twelve. I survived. So will she. That’s how I got to God-forsaken Ireland in the first place. Sold onto a ship by my father. It’s been a good living for me, it has.


JC: Did you have any reservations about selling Mary?                                                                                              ShantyGoldFront-200x300-72dpi


EB: Just that hair, ducks. Made her stick it up in a cap. Sailors are funny about redheads on a ship. (She laughs raucously). By the time they saw it, they were so horned up they’d rut with anything.


jeanne charters Jeanne Charters writes about the business of living your life to the fullest. Over the years through her magazine columns, books and blog posts, she has sought to help other women face life's challenges through humor, strength and perseverance.

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