Sally's Reviews > A Life of Her Own: A Countrywoman in Twentieth-Century France

A Life of Her Own by Emilie Carles
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May 04, 12

Read in April, 2012

The simply written autobiography of a courageous woman who grew up in a poor and conservative peasant family in the Hautes Alpes of France in the early twentieth century. Given the unusual gift of higher education, she rebelled against the narrow conventions within which she had been raised, speaking out against patriarchy, chauvinism, nationalism, militarism—even the Catholic Church and its God. She saw it as her role as a longtime schoolteacher in her native valley to shape and broaden the perspectives of the peasant children whom she taught, and nearing death in her mid-seventies, reflected that it was “splendid to leave life with the thought that you have done the maximum possible to defend the ideas you believe just and human, and to help those who need to be helped without discrimination.” An unusual, thoughtful, albeit sometimes naïve, look at life.
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