This enthralling work of scholarship strips away those abstractions to reveal the hidden -- and not always stoic -- face of the "goodwives" of colonial America. In these pages we encounter the awesome burdens -- and the considerable power -- of a New England housewife's domestic life and witness her occasional forays into the world of men. We see her borrowing from her neighbors, loving her husband, raising -- and, all too often, mourning -- her children, and even attaining fame as a heroine of frontier conflicts or notoriety as a murderess. Painstakingly researched, lively with scandal and homely detail, Good Wives is history at its best.
Table of Contents
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 6. Consort 7. Travail 8. Mother of All Living
Part Three: Jael 9. Blessed Above Women 10. Viragoes 11. Captives 12. Daughters of Zion
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich received her B.A. from the University of Utah, her M.A. from Simmons College, and her Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire. She was previously Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire and is currently Phillips Professor of Early American History and 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard University. Her book A Midwife's Tale won the Pulitzer Prize in History, the Bancroft Prize, and the American Historical Society's John H. Dunning and Joan Kelly Memorial Prizes. Ulrich's discovery of Martha Ballard and work on the diary has been chronicled in a documentary film written and produced by Laurie Kahn-Leavitt with major funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the "American Experience" television series. Ulrich is also the author of numerous articles and reviews and the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and many other honors and awards.
"[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
A gravestone in northern New England proclaims that a woman was "Eminent for Holiness...Prudence, Sincerity...Meakness...Weanedness From ye World...Publick-Spiritedness ...Faithfulness & Charity."
"A major addition to our historical understanding of women in colonial New England...a path-breaking depiction of wives and mothers." -- Kathryn Kish Sklar, S.U.N.Y., Binghamton