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Woman's Life in Colonial Days

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  122 ratings  ·  13 reviews
What was life like for women in the American colonies? This classic study suggests that, in spite of hardships, many colonial women led rich, fulfilling lives. Drawing on letters, diaries and contemporary accounts, the author thoroughly depicts the lives of women in the New England and Southern colonies. Thoughtfully written, well-documented account.
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1922)
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Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I bought this book some time ago and when I picked it up again recently, I cringed. The text was first published in 1922 and so much research has been conducted since then that this book had to be hopelessly out of date. However, when I delved into it, I soon realized why I bought it in the first place. The text is chock-full of primary source quotes from letters and journals. These materials only get better with age! There is so much original material that the reader can form her own (or his ow ...more
Susan Howson
Jul 21, 2018 rated it liked it
First, this kind of book functions as two sorts of histories. A 1922 dude’s adorably condescending view of women (and some really nasty stuff about black humans being subhuman) plus actual research and fascinating quotes from the 17th and 18th centuries. It probably should make me despair, but it doesn’t. It makes me hopeful. We’ve come a long way. And it’s also useful to understand the prevailing logic of our grandparents’ time so as the better to understand.

Second, it’s a surprisingly fun rea
Nov 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just spent my Sunday reading this book now questioning what my life has become. Ok first, this book made me want to chuck it violently across the room multiple times, but it’s a book so I shall do no such thing! I only picked this up because I really am fascinated by colonial New England. My ancestor came over in the 1630s (actually he was stolen as a boy in England near the port, tossed on a ship and forced to work to pay off his trip over the ocean for two years in America). It was first wri ...more
Leah Cossette
Informative, but not terribly well organized. There is a vast difference between the lives of Puritan women right off the Mayflower, a Dutch New Yorker during the Seven Years War, and a late eighteenth century Southern plantation bride. I appreciate that Holliday wanted to be thorough, but he might have been served better if he had divided his information by era. Though the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries may not seem that different from a modern perspective, when you're discussing the nitt ...more
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Partway through the book, I looked at the copyright date which explained the sexism and utter racism of the book. The book was published in 1922, so it was quite dated and included a lot of opinions. I was hoping for more details about daily life for women in colonial days, but it was more about overarching themes in colonial life. I enjoyed the letters and journal entries.
Nov 18, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I stopped reading this book at page 134 when I thought I was going to die of boredom. This was written in 1922, which I didn't realize when I got the book, so the non-fiction writing style is antiquated and not very well-written or entertaining. The author includes way too many quotes from direct sources like journals and letters. Some quotes are informative and interesting, but too many and you feel like you're reading a (badly written) research paper. He makes many questionable assumptions and ...more
p roper
Jul 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started and finished several books while reading this one but not because this is hard to read or dull; rather it is mine and the others read were borrowed from friends or the library. I wanted to read this mostly for information about how women lived during colonial days and I was not disappointed; I learned quite a lot. However, I also learned something of how women were thought of during the early 1900's as well due to the book being a reprint of the original published in 1922.
Basically, a
Sep 03, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, non-fiction
I came back to this one, as I'd really like to read through some of my lingering non-fiction books. For some reason this one is just not an entertaining read, I'm not sure if it's disjointed, or just not presented in a way that flows (same thing LOL), but in any case, it does have many interesting facts. Just wish it had been presented in a more readable format. ...more
Sep 15, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-history, own
Plenty of useful information but very hard to wade through due to writing style and probably year of original publication. At times the author gives them impression of appreciating more about colonial women than the women of his own time.
Personally I think it would be enjoyable to read primary sources from the women themselves than a collection of quotes analyzed many years later.
Penelope Marzec
An in-depth study of womens' lives in colonial times peppered with diary excerpts. The author has detailed regional differences and explained changes during the early, middle, and late periods of that era. Interesting and informative. ...more
Jan 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Written in 1922. This book was a very slow read for me. The author pulls information from documents of the time period and reports it in that manner. However, if you can drudge through the information, it's an interesting insight of women in colonial times. ...more
An okay book, but it gets pretty patronizing often, not surprising though since it was written in 1922.
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