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Letters of a Woman Homesteader [Kindle Edition]

Elinore Pruitt Stewart
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (486 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

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: 218 KB
  • Print Length: 136 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0082VE9UG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,117 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
594 of 596 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful and interesting! 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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127 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and highly recommended 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't hesitate 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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110 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Proud to be progeny November 20, 1999
By A Customer
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
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary! April 16, 2001
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
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful glimpse of life on the praire. March 16, 2004
By A Customer
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
Great read if you enjoy reading about Pioneer life. The letters were hilarious and delightful, with a great many laugh-out-loud moments.
Published 8 days ago by curtis
4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining. .
Entertaining. A light read that gives insight into those times and that type.of life.
Published 9 days ago by L. Meadows
Every American should read this book about the pleasures and pitfalls of being a pioneer. And the sorrows. It was very informative.
Published 12 days ago by Mary Raynor
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 15 days ago by L. Sigmon
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down
What a great look into the past. I was entertained, inspired, and learned much about a time and place so unlike anything I have known. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Dominica
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the kind of story I love
In general I love historical fiction, except that too often it isn't well researched and has too many modern nuances. This is not fiction and therefore the real deal. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Leigh
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting
A good read but on the slow side. There were so many things I wanted to know more about but were not gone into. A very comforting book when you want a happy ending.
Published 21 days ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Interesting read.
Published 22 days ago by Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
This is a great read for homesteaders.. Nice
Published 22 days ago by techie girl
4.0 out of 5 stars Very personal look at the life of a pioneer woman
The only bad I can say about this book is how it ends. It simply stops. There is no follow up of the remainder of the letter writers life... Read more
Published 25 days ago by amazo
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