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Letters of a Woman Homesteader Kindle Edition

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Length: 304 pages
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

George provides biographical insight into the author of the 1914 pioneer classic Letters of a Woman Homesteader , giving a detailed presentation of Stewart's previously uncollected letters. Photos.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up–After deciding that city life as a laundress wasn't for her, Elinore Pruitt, a young widowed mother, accepted an offer to assist with a ranch in Wyoming, work that she found exceedingly more rewarding. In this delightful collection of letters, she describes these experiences to her former employer, Mrs. Coney. Pruitt's charming descriptions of work, travels, neighbors, animals, land and sky have an authentic feel. The West comes alive, and everyday life becomes captivating. Her writing is clear, witty, and entertaining. The 26 letters are brief and tell about her life on the ranch in the early 1900s. The author frequently and unnecessarily apologizes for being too wordy; she begs forgiveness for many "faults," like being forgetful, ungrateful, inconsistent and indifferent, all without apparent cause. On occasion, language reflects the racial prejudice of the time. Many times, Pruitt attempts to portray the culturally diverse characters she meets by writing their various dialects as they sound. Kate Fleming's narration is as smooth as the writing, perfectly transitioning from one accent to the next. She reads with a calm, down-to-earth tone, which suits the writing well.–Kariana Cullen Gonzales, Lincoln Consolidated High School, Ypsilanti, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 709 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1440032688
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (May 15, 1998)
  • Publication Date: May 15, 1998
  • Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003WJQ7BC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #793,920 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

600 of 603 people found the following review helpful By Snowbrocade VINE VOICE on January 3, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Since this Kindle book has no introduction or information on the book page, I copied a publishers note I found on on the Google books website which provides some background information about the author. "The writer of the following letters is a young woman who lost her husband in a railroad accident and went to Denver to seek support for herself and her two-year-old daughter, Jerrine. Turning her hand to the nearest work, she went out by the day to work as a housecleaner and laundress. Later, seeking to better herself, she accepted employment as a housekeeper for a well-to-do Scottish cattleman, Mr. Stewart, who had taken up a quarter-section in Wyoming. The letters, written through several years to a former employer in Denver, tell of her new life in the new country. They are genuine letters, and are printed as written, except for occasional omissions and alterations of names."

The letters begin in 1909, apparently right after a homestead act made it possible for the author, Elinore Pruitt Stewart, to claim a homestead of 160 acres in Wyoming. Ms. Stewart is a very resourceful woman as well as a wonderful story-teller. She explains that she never received formal education but she refers to current literature so I am guessing that she has learned to write from her interest in reading. Apparently she was a prolific author in her time and one of her descendants has published a book about her. (There are pictures of her on the web and more information if you want to know more about her.)

Elinore has a cheerful and pragmatic approach to life making her well-written letters a lot of fun to read. She mostly writes about events, usually involving meeting some of the other inhabitants of the area, ranging from mountain men to Mormons.
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128 of 129 people found the following review helpful By Pen&Paper on April 13, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
This was a great peek into the life of a woman homesteader. I was delighted to see (through Ms. Pruitt's writings) how many other women homesteaders there were in that time. She has such an engaging writing style and it kept me riveted for the entire collection of letters.

By chance I noticed that one of the films on my netflix list is called Heartland. It's a movie from 1980 whose main character, Elinor, is based on these writings. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie even more after reading these letters.

If you like smart, spunky, DIY characters, you'll love Ms. Pruitt's writings.
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89 of 90 people found the following review helpful By D. Loren on February 4, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Letters of a Woman Homesteader

This was recommended in one of Jessamyn West's memos. It was so interesting I could not put it down. How courageous this woman was and what a great sense of humor. If you ever thought life was too hard to move forward, just read this book and become inspired!
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111 of 118 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 20, 1999
Format: Paperback
Elinore Pruitt Stewart was my grandmother, my father's mother. She died before I was born; I deeply regret never getting to know her, as she was a remarkable woman. Readers who enjoyed the book might also enjoy the film made from it- "Heartland", directed by Taylor Hackford and starring Conchata Ferrill as Elinore and Rip Torn as Clyde. It is available on video. The script was originally conceived by the Wilderness Women's Project at the University of Montana. My father and mother got to play bit roles as wedding guests. Elinore also wrote "Letters On An Elk Hunt", as well as many short pieces for periodicals of the day.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
At first, the thought of reading letters from nearly a hundred years ago held very little interest for me but from the second page I was hooked. Just over four hours later I was done reading, and was equipped with a whole new view of not only life in the early 20th century but of the impact woman had on it. Worth reading by both woman and man alike.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Clair F. Runyan on April 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
I hardly know where to begin. I have nothing but unstinting praise for these letters and the book, except for . . . well, I'll get to that in a moment. Elinore Stewart's writing is a model to be followed by anyone of any time or place on any subject. Clear as a bell, concise yet comprehensive, replete with localisms and skillfully rendered frontier humor, it makes one want to toss the PC and reference library into the trash and move to some unspoiled wilderness. Yet, a caveat. When you finish the book you feel you know this indomitable woman. Then it suddenly strikes you that you don't. Who was Elinore Pruitt Stewart? Where was she born, grow up? Who was the railroader who fathered her daughter, and most of all, what happened to her?
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
What a delightful and uplifting book. I have always been under the impression that life was so dreary for these folks who were homesteaders. But instead, I have been able to see from one perspective how joyous the experience could be. What a wonderful life Elinore made for herself and everyone else. She obviously knew how to make something out of nothing. A young widow who worked as a laundress and then a housekeeper just so she could experience homesteading. Wonderful! Just the sort of spirit needed to be successful. The cast of characters that surrounded her stories are amazing. What a lovely picture of how people helped out each other. It's almost unheard of in todays "get out of my way" society. This is a book I shall keep and reread often. I am so glad that it came my way.
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