A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 Hardcover – 1 Mar 1990
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"A major source through which we can vicariously experience the rural life of early New England." --Carl N. Degler, The New York Times Book Review --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From the Inside Flap
Drawing on the diaries of a midwife and healer in eighteenth-century Maine, this intimate history illuminates the medical practices, household economies, religious rivalries, and sexual mores of the New England frontier. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
in the book) which contain sentence fragments and short
descriptions of the day's activity, Laurel Ulrich's book,
"A Midwife's Tale: The Diary of Martha Ballard," is a
fascinating reconstruction in the life of Martha Ballard,
a midwife who, during the Revolutionary War, is
characterized as a feminist in her own right. By choice,
many women left their homes to join their husbands to help
fight the war; others were driven away by Brittish soldiers;
but Martha Ballard, unaffected by the War and American
Politics, resided at home with her husband, family, and
friends. Incredibly, Ulrich writes in narrative style that
Martha Ballard had performed in 27 years more than 800
deliveries in and around Hallowell, Maine, produced and
distributed drugs, prepared burials and dissections, at a
time when medicine was in its infancy. This is a true story
of a woman who had been independent, strong, and productive
throughout her life. In the environment surrounding
Martha's world, "A Midwife's Tale" also portrays a 'women's
community' that characterizes an almost perfect social and
economic ideal of their time. The winner of numerous
prizes, historians, history enthusiasts, and feminists will
find this 352 page book (not including endnotes and index)
a wonderful and interesting read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of the best history books ever written: I first read it about ten years ago when I lived in the States and I've lost count of the times I've dipped back into it since. Read morePublished on 29 May 2008 by Essex Girl
Ulrich's book provides a fecundity of specifics to a genre destined to be overgeneralized. Her excruciatingly detailed research and beautiful writing together create a book which... Read morePublished on 15 May 1999
I had to read this book for World Civilizations II and it was definitely worth it. This book shows a new approach to defining past cultures. Read morePublished on 28 April 1999
Martha Moore Ballard is my great x5 grandmother, to read the book and to view the movie was very moving to me. I am also in the medical field. I am a descendant of her son Jon. Read morePublished on 9 Mar. 1999
Thatcher herself said, on page 9, that "it is in the very dailiness, the exhaustive, repetitious dailiness, that the real power of Martha Ballard's book lies. Read morePublished on 3 Feb. 1999
A Midwife's Tale is chock full of fascinating facts about the life of Martha Ballard, a New England midwife in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Read morePublished on 1 Feb. 1999
I found comfort in Martha. The coming and going of her days passing between my fingers with the turning of the page. Read morePublished on 30 Sept. 1998