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A Little Commonwealth: A Family Life in Plymouth Colony
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A Little Commonwealth: A Family Life in Plymouth Colony

3.42  ·  Rating Details  ·  140 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
In this pioneering study, Mr. Demos examines the family in a specific American context, that of the colony founded by the Pilgrims who came over on the "Mayflower," during the first two generations of its existence. In the absence of the usual literary sources, he has centered his reserach on physical artifacts, wills, estate inventories, and a variety of legal and officia ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 15th 1971 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 1970)
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May 29, 2011 Vasha7 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely fascinating attempt to elucidate the social structures within the family, and the experiences of family members, during the first seventy years of Plymouth Colony. The evidence is scanty, and consists mostly of such documents as wills and deeds and records of court cases; personal letters and journals are almost absent. Demos is very honest about what he doesn't know and scrupulous about attempting to find evidence for every one of his hypotheses, pointing out just what is speculat ...more
Aug 24, 2015 Karen rated it liked it
Shelves: comps
3.5 stars. A solid overview of family life and structure in colonial Plymouth. Demos being Demos wasn't afraid to take some whimsical moments, and I doubt very much that some of his psychobabble musings remain relevant 45 years later. Perhaps a better overview would be to read the some sections from Fischer's Albion's Seed, which draws heavily from this work. In comparing those two works however, Demos was more careful than Fischer when examining the material culture and architectural elements i ...more
Anne Powell
Sep 14, 2014 Anne Powell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slightly tedious in places, but still an interesting topic.
Aug 27, 2013 Jo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book had tons of information on Plymouth Colony. There were lots of guesses/conjectures but that is necessary when there are not many artifacts surviving. Even though I am interested in Plymouth, this book was a bit boring for me. I think I would rather read a historical fiction book on the subject. One that is based on fact, it is original in its storyline.
Aug 25, 2009 Marit rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This was a short history on the dynamics and roles of family members in early colonial days. The book is simply and clearly written and the author often includes (sometimes copious) remarks on where he hypothesized about the historical facts or psychology of the time. Interesting but not wildly so. I do feel that I learned some new tidbits.
History 110A: United States History Beginning - A small read that examined the life of the early Puritans. Used legal documents alongside living quarters artifacts to postulate what life was like for these early American inhabitants. Some surprising facts can be found here such as the misconception that Puritans wore drab clothing.
A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony, telling the structure of households in which there is an article about the relationship of husband and wife and parent relationships with children.
Aug 02, 2008 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic
In depth study of of the ordinary life of a Puritan community, by one of the giants in this area of American history.
May 11, 2009 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love history and this had a little twist on it. It was a quick read.
Sep 04, 2011 Dyang6529 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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