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Book Review of A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, based on Her Diary 1785-1812

A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, based on Her Diary 1785-1812
reviewed on + 471 more book reviews


A marvelous exposition of the diary of an ordinary woman from Augusta, Maine, who turns out to be quite extraordinary. The laconic record of her life, becomes a guide not only to early medicine and housekeeping, but to debt, religion, family relations, the labor system, marriage and courtship, court practices, and above all the nature of female identity. All of this is made concrete and real in the life of one woman living on the Maine frontierl...It is a tour de force of historical analysis and will be valued by students and general readers for years to come.-Richard Bushman, Columbia University.


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