The ports of Liverpool and Providence are touched on at the beginning and end of The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. Neither city is described in detail, although the multitude of ships crowded together at Liverpool is vividly presented. Nearly all the novel's action take place on the Seahawk, a brig. Avi provides a diagram of the ship in an appendix to the novel, and this should help readers follow where the action takes place. Although Avi takes care to explain nautical terms as they come up in the narrative, the illustration of the ship clarifies where the different parts of the ship are to be found.
The Seahawk is a two-masted ship, with a main mast and a foremast. Each mast consists of tree trunks bound together; it takes three stages of trunks, one upon another, to stretch the masts to their full heights. In the course of the narrative, Charlotte will learn to scale these masts to their full extent, hundreds of feet above the ship's deck, and she will learn all of their rigging. The rest of the ship is divided into storage areas for cargo, work areas, and living quarters. Charlotte finds herself crammed into a room so small that she cannot stand up in it—even though she herself is small—and her cabin has no room for storing her clothes. Her cabin is near the captain's quarters, a large room with many comforts. The crew is quartered in the forecastle, near the bow of the ship; they are crammed together with little room...
(The entire section is 263 words.)