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A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 Paperback – June 4, 1991
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
- Marie Marmo Mullaney, Caldwell Coll., N.J.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Martha ministers to them both in body and spirit; and the entire, closely bonded community of post-colonial wives and mothers is depicted in her story.
"I returned home at 10 hour morn, find my house alone and everything in Arms. Did not find time to still down till 2 pm." How this still resonates as women try combine work in the outside world with the unrelenting demands of domesticity!
Kudoes to Laurel Thatcher Ulrich for this brilliantly edited, extremely necessary part of American history---a woman's life as told by observant, compassionate, hard-working Martha Ballard. Ulrich has included statistics of maternal and infant mortality that cause one to question the wisdom of the "heroic intervention" style of obstetrics that came later: Martha experienced only about a 4% loss rate, which stands up impressively until the days when antibiotics reduced the mortality rate to insignificance.
With the help of collateral documents, Ulrich fills out Ballard's entries to give a more complete view of society in a milling village of the early 1800's. She also tracks Ballard's personal fortunes from the height of her prestige into eventual decline. The author takes pains to point out how much of this misfortune was inevitable (the elderly of any era are of necessity pushed from the center to the circumference of society) and how much was due to the hand dealt by fate: Martha had her daughters before her sons; the girls married and moved out, leaving their mother the care of three rather loutish males.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lots of interesting historical facts, but difficult to follow as a narrative.Published 22 days ago by Josephine Ann Chase
Very good history and biography using close reading of her diary and solid secondary and primary research.Published 4 months ago by Chris Hummel
I was entirely mesmerized by this book; couldn't put it down. I would love to be able to do this type of research!Published 5 months ago by CacheGirl
This is my husband's favorite book and it went missing so this is a replacement.Published 5 months ago by Mary Young
Great historical piece.
A little heavy going, a bit of a slog of a read w the wordiness.
Good from an academic point of view.
i find tbe book to be amazing . I'm from Hallowell , Me . actually a direct bloodline to Martha . My family continued to be a part of Hallowells history from businesses to farming... Read morePublished 6 months ago by donald ballard
Ulrich's strategy of using direct quotes from Ballard's diary to explain the history of a community as well as individuals is brilliant.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer