Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 Paperback – June 4, 1991
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
The diary of a midwife and herbalist reveals the prevalence of violence, crime and premarital sex in rural 18th-century New England. "Fleshing out this midwife's bare entries with interpretive essays . . . Ulrich marvelously illuminates women's status, the history of medicine and daily life in the early Republic," said PW . Illustrated.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
This book is a model of social history at its best. An exegesis of Ballard's diary, it recounts the life and times of this obscure Maine housewife and midwife. Using passages from the diary as a starting point for each chapter division, Ulrich, a professor at the University of New Hampshire, demonstrates how the seemingly trivial details of Ballard's daily life reflect and relate to prominent themes in the history of the early republic: the role of women in the economic life of the community, the nature of marriage and sexual relations, the scope of medical knowledge and practice. Speculating on why Ballard kept the diary as well as why her family saved it, Ulrich highlights the document's usefulness for historians.
- Marie Marmo Mullaney, Caldwell Coll., N.J.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
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. The episode underscores how necessary a reliable pool of labor was to the running of any rural household; southern families had their slaves; northern families had their daughters. Historian John Lewis Gaddis calls this book "an exercise in historical paleontology [that] succeeds brilliantly." Winner of the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for history.
for those that embrace the medical field and belief in their infallibility .. your'e going to be shocked at just how little men didn't know about birth.. but how it was a matter of popular opinion to get a "doctor" to attend your birth..
good read.. not only for seeing the eroding of women's empowerment.. but also a glimpse of how intertwined the colonists were and a good look at culture and the changing attitudes .. of our society .. about birth, money making, and labor and delivery.
It will open your eyes to the everyday hardships of Augusta Maine in the late 1700. It was a wonder that not only did people survive, but that this midwife had the same infant survival rate that we have now. I highly recommend this book. The only comment is that around the fourth chapter, the author explains the economics of the time. It reads like someone's thesis. Please stick it out or skip to the next chapter, it will be worth your while.