What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

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UNSOLVED: One specific book > Nonfiction Late 19th Century Journal or Diary of Homemaker, Mother

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message 1: by M (new)

M Roberts | 5 comments I think I read this book in the 1990s or early 2000 and it may have been recently published then. A late 19th or early 20th century journal or diary of an American (South, Midwest?) woman who was a housewife and mother, a record of her daily life, cooking, sewing, cleaning, etc., she loved to read, was dissatisfied with her ordinary life and the title may have reflected that, I'm not sure. The editor may have added some biographical information about this woman.


message 2: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 37538 comments Mod
This sounds like Chapter IX: The Life Story of a Farmer's Wife in The Life Stories of Undistinguished Americans, As Told by Themselves.

This is what I wrote about it in my review:

"The wife of a controlling midwestern farmer subordinates her will to her husband. She stops going to church because he doesn't want to. She loves to read and has gotten the occasional glimpse of "great poets and authors," but has to do so in secret because he finds it a waste of time and thinks it means she doesn't love him; her few leisure moments should be spent talking to him. She rises at four or five in the morning and spends all day doing chores. "I have never had a vacation," she writes, "but if I should be allowed one I should certainly be pleased to spend it in an art gallery." She has always itched to write, and has had a few pieces published in newspapers for no remuneration. She persuades her stingy husband to allow her to takes courses from a correspondence school, which he allows her to do if she drops her subscriptions to papers and periodicals, which she was paying for from her own income. "...there is very little time for the higher life for myself, but my soul cries out for it..." "


message 3: by M (new)

M Roberts | 5 comments That does indeed sound very much like the book I remembered! I'm not positive because I don't remember any friction with the husband, or that he was particularly domineering, rather that she pitied him for his hard work. But I certainly could have it confused or conflated. In any case, I will ILL the book and see. It sounds fascinating and I look forward to (re?)reading it anyway. Thank you for your help!


message 4: by Kris (last edited Sep 13, 2019 07:40AM) (new)

Kris | 32069 comments Mod
Here's the Google Books preview of The Life Stories of Undistinguished Americans as Told by Themselves: Expanded Edition edited by Hamilton Holt - Lobstergirl's suggestion:

https://books.google.ca/books?id=I8eL... There are different cover images. The table of contents is fairly unique.


message 5: by M (new)

M Roberts | 5 comments Thank you so much for the links.! This is good because I've found the original on archive.org and I'm delighted to be able to read it easily there.

Unfortunately it's not the book I'm looking for. The one I remember is only one woman's story, recently transcribed, and I don't recognize the other narratives in the Life Stories book at all. So still searching...


message 6: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart | 15710 comments Might want to check this list....

Women's Journals and Diaries in History


message 7: by M (new)

M Roberts | 5 comments Great, thank you for the link! I'll check them out.


message 8: by M (new)

M Roberts | 5 comments Sadly no, but several I want to read!


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