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Winner of the Colonial Dames of America Award
This enthralling work of scholarship reveals the hidden and not always stoic face of the "goodwives" of Colonial America. We encounter the awesome burdens and considerable power of a New England housewife's domestic life and witness her occasional forays into the world of men. Painstakingly researched and lively with scandal and homely detail, this is history at its best.
“A major addition to our historical understanding of women in colonial New England...a pathbreaking depiction of wives and mothers.”—Kathryn Kish Sklar
“[Ulrich] makes a modern reader understand what it would have been like to have been born female in early New England...a truly remarkable achievement.”—Mary Beth Norton, Cornell University
“Professor Ulrich makes a convincing case that although New England women did not hold church power, their participation in the community was not defined by a systematic ideology of femininity such as existed in the 19th century. Assembling evidence from court records, probate inventories and a variety of other sources, she shows how the rigors of colonial life, combined with the Puritan notion of spiritual equality in marriage, led women to a range of activity overlapping that of men.” —The New York Times
Part One: Bathsheba
1. The Ways of Her Household
2. Deputy Husbands
3. A Friendly Neighbor
4. Pretty Gentlewoman
Part Two: Eve
5. The Serpent Beguiled Me
8. Mother of All Living
Part Three: Jael
9. Blessed Above Women
12. Daughters of Zion