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Emily: The Diary of a Hard-Worked Woman
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Emily: The Diary of a Hard-Worked Woman

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  22 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
"Oh how I do wish I could have a little help in maintaining my home. I shall dread the cold winter so much. I don't have very good success getting employment," wrote Emily French in her diary in 1890. Emily was recently divorced but received no alimony or child support. She worked as a laundress, cleaning woman, and nurse, first in the farming community of Elbert, ...more
Paperback, 166 pages
Published March 1st 1987 by University of Nebraska Press
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Seoda
Jan 01, 2011 Seoda rated it really liked it
I found a used copy of this book in the history section of my favorite local bookstore. It is really a wonderful read in many ways, with just enough framing by Janet Lecompte to fill in what may not be understood from the text alone. Emily French was a literate, formerly middle-class woman who went through a divorce and found herself "working out" doing household chores for other families. Although some of the language is halting (not surprising if you imagine her slaving away all day and then ...more
Cher
Nov 20, 2016 Cher rated it liked it
Interesting from an historical point of view but a sad and somewhat boring account of working day to day just to barely survive. Amazing that Emily was so articulate and faithful to her diary even through exhaustion and illness. A rare and unique book!
Robin Mandell
Sep 14, 2016 Robin Mandell rated it it was amazing
It's just so incredible that this diary even exists. We don't usually get to hear from poor, uneducated middle-aged women from the 19th century, and Emily was a keen observer, and didn't mince words if she liked, or didn't like, something. Lots of good tidbits for gender and class relations nerds, too. The background research the editor did is also really helpful; I learned stuff about American history and economics I didn't know before.
Lkelly6
Oct 18, 2014 Lkelly6 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir-bio
I wrote a summary more than a review. Last ¶ = my comments.

14 August 1843, DOB near Marshall, Michigan to Morgan Rood and his first wife. He married Mrs. Anna Bickford in 1868 and lived with her in prosperity in Denver until he died in 1881. 17 March 1858, Emily eloped with Marsena French. They worked hard; in 1867 bought a store and clothing business. They had 7 or 8 children. He became a doctor in Anamosa, MI, after leaving home to study medicine. He was not successful financially as a doctor.
...more
Emily
From a historian perspective, this book is amazing because diaries about the everyday life of an average person are hard to find. From a reader perspective, this book dragged considerably and it took me a solid 3 weeks to finish its 166 pages. It's not exciting in any way--it details Emily's moves around Colorado to new jobs, her time at those jobs (mostly housekeeping positions), and her issues with her children and ex-husband. She's also extremely religious, starting each entry with a Bible ...more
Brianna Audrey Wright
Jan 19, 2013 Brianna Audrey Wright rated it did not like it
Shelves: opl-owns
Didn't finish it actually. I understand why the editor chose to leave it in its original format - but on the other hand it made it very difficult to read/follow/understand. The spelling was horrific - understandable for a woman who was uneducated but I feel like the editor could have chosen to include an edited version which would explain words and terms that Emily used.
Kathy
Jan 14, 2011 Kathy rated it it was ok
It was a hard life for a divorced woman in 1890's Colorado, even for someone like Emily who was willing to work very hard. Every entry in her diary is similar, telling what she eats, how long she works, how little she gets paid for it, and how she worries about losing her family.
Judy
Jul 03, 2016 Judy rated it liked it
This is really rather dull reading, but it is the story of a hard-worked woman, and she didn't have a lot of exciting experiences.
Laura
Aug 31, 2012 Laura rated it liked it
Interesting account of a divorced washwoman in 1880s Colorado. Provides insight to the hardships faced by so many of that era.
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Goodreads Librari...: Creating a New Author 3 13 Jun 27, 2016 07:48AM  
Emily French who lived in the late 1800s in Colorado
More about Emily French...

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