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The Montana Frontier: One Woman's West


The Montana Frontier: One Woman's West Cover

ISBN13: 9780826331205
ISBN10: 0826331203
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This true story of a Victorian-era young woman who follows her husband to a small town with the improbable name of Gilt Edge, Montana, will remind readers of Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose, the classic novel of a woman's life in the Mountain West. As a young girl, Lillian Weston, the author's grandmother, aspired to be a concert pianist. However, as a young woman in turn-of-the-century New York, she became a newspaper columnist. Her marriage to Frank Hazen took her west in 1899, ending her career as a newspaperwoman. She turned her writing skills to journals, diaries, stories, and poems, which traced her family's life on a frontier that was no longer unspoiled.

The Hazens endured brutal winters and dry summers and endeavored to raise cattle and chickens by trial and error. Lillian was an assiduous diarist who included details of her turbulent marriage challenged by Frank's bad business deals. The details of birth control and child rearing, gambling and prostitution, education and health care are all part of this story, offering glimpses into everyday life that often go unreported in the larger story of western expansion.

Book News Annotation:

Drawing on her grandmother's writings, a native Montanan now living in New Mexico traces her early career as a New York newspaperwoman and her struggles with Victorian-era married life and other hardships in central Montana. Photographs show Lillian Weston Hazen (1865-1949) active on her ranch.
Annotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (


Taken from the journals of a Victorian-era woman who followed her husband from New York to a small town in Montana, these reflections include birth control and child rearing, gambling and prostitution, education and health care in the Mountain West.

About the Author

Joyce Litz was born and spent her first fifteen years in Lewistown, Montana, with Lillian. Before she retired in 1995, she was the political action committee coordinator for a non-profit association in Washington, D.C. She now lives in Albuquerque and writes full time.

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Kathleen Frommelt, January 8, 2007 (view all comments by Kathleen Frommelt)
This book about Lillian Weston Hazen will appeal to grown up girls who loved the heroines of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Willa Cather.
Joyce Litz's meticulous research not only into her grandmother's diaries but also into such arcane information as weather patterns leads to fascinating insights about the micro experience of settlers. She showed how temporarily high water levels led pioneers to settle on land only to find they were fighting a back breaking but ultimately losing battle with nature. The story of the West is as much a story of risk taking and failure as it is of hard work and success.
This book was many years in the writing. The inspiration was the inheritance of a trunk full of her grandmother's life long diaries by a remarkable granddaughter who, despite three children and a career, worked toward authorship of this book for decades.
Litz's great grandfather Edw. Payson Weston was a phenomen, a world class pedestrian. Lillian seemed destined for an equally brilliant life as a pianist, world traveler and columnist in New York newspapers. She was also lovely looking She married badly and rather late to an irritable young man who looked good on paper. Instead of pursuing her own talents, she set out on the adventure of being the wife of a mining accountant in Montana and eventually matriarch of a struggling farm family in Montana.
Joyce Litz inherited her great grandfather's stamina, the writer's soul of her grandmother's and added her own perserverence. She comes across as a wise and thoughtful woman whose own life experience informs this book.
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Product Details

Litz, Joyce
University of New Mexico Press
United States - 19th Century/Old West
Frontier and pioneer life
Regional Subjects - West
Ranch life
Women pioneers
Giltedge Region
Montana Social life and customs.
Biography - General
Series Volume:
Nr. 8672
Publication Date:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » Women
History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » Montana
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century

The Montana Frontier: One Woman's West New Hardcover
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Product details 261 pages University of New Mexico Press - English 9780826331205 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Taken from the journals of a Victorian-era woman who followed her husband from New York to a small town in Montana, these reflections include birth control and child rearing, gambling and prostitution, education and health care in the Mountain West.
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