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Secret Eye: The Journal of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas, 1848-1889
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Secret Eye: The Journal of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas, 1848-1889

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  34 ratings  ·  7 reviews
The journal of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas, spanning the years from 1848 to 1889, is rare for its treatment of both the Civil War and postbellum years and for its candor and detail in treating these eras. Thomas, who was born to wealth and privilege and reared in the tradition of the southern belle, tells of the hard days of war and the poverty brought on by emancipation ...more
Hardcover
Published March 30th 1990 by University of North Carolina Press (first published March 1st 1990)
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Lynn Joshua
Sep 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this journal and seeing history through the eyes of this observant woman. She lived in Georgia throughout the War Between the States and Reconstruction, and experienced great upheaval both in her public and private life. She has some remarkable insights about slavery, male/female relations, education and religion. It gives me better understanding when I can 'step out' of my own time and place and see how familiar events appear to someone from a different perspective. ...more
EJ Daniels
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Drawn from the over 400,000 pages of the various diaries of Gertrude Thomas, The Secret Eye paints an extremely deep and intimate portrait of the life of a Southern aristocrat from the idle pleasures of the antebellum period through the glories and miseries of the War Between the States to the privations of Reconstruction to the cusp of the New South. Expertly arranged and edited by Virginia Ingraham Burr, this edition finally makes this precious resource available to the public.

The daughter of
...more
Glenna
Feb 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
It is a very intriguing diary of a woman from Georgia written over a period of 40 years.
I skimmed the overly long intro, but the war years and post war years are fascinating. She was ahead of her time in many ways while still a product of her era. I love her comments on her reading as well. (still reading so no comments yet on the post 1866 years. ;-))
Mary
Apr 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: history buffs
A front row seat on the life of a woman who went from privilege to financial/personal challenges, including death of 4 children, a financially challenged husband, uncertainty about teachimg. But she also had satisfactions such as earning a paycheck & having her writing published. Her diary was her private friend where she shares some but not all of her private thoughts and feelings.
Marjie
Apr 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
all time good read.
Lindsay
Sep 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was the perfect primary source account for my Senior Thesis in History.
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Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating!
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Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas kept an extensive journal chronicling her life as the daughter and wife of Augusta planters from 1848 to 1889. An edited version of the journal was published in 1990 under the title The Secret Eye.

Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas, the daughter and wife of Augusta planters, is best known for the extensive journal she kept of her life before, during, and after the Civil War
...more