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Earthbound and Heavenbent: Elizabeth Porter Phelps and Life at Forty Acres (1747-1817)

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Earthbound and Heavenbent: Elizabeth Porter Phelps and Life at Forty Acres (1747-1817) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A vivid, revelatory book about New England life during the years of America's foundation, Earthbound and Heavenbent is the compelling true story of Elizabeth Porter Phelps and the extraordinary times in which she lived.

Elizabeth Porter Phelps's life began in 1747 and spanned three wars, a major uprising, and the emergence of a nation. She spent all but her first five years at Forty Acres, her family's handsome Massachusetts home, which still stands proudly today. It was there that she grew up, married, raised children, and kept busy as the mistress of a working farm and wife of a prominent leader in the community. And all the while, she never stopped writing and recording her life in hundreds of diary entries and letters.

It is our great fortune that the invaluable collection of these papers ultimately found its way, two hundred years later, into the loving hands of scholar Elizabeth Pendergast Carlisle, who has gracefully woven them into Earthbound and Heavenbent. Together, Phelps's writings and Carlisle's narrative describe in riveting detail the daily rigors of eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century farming, sewing, and cooking; the intimate truths of the Phelpses' personal, family, and community life; and the events, local and farther afield, that were shaping America. Ultimately, Carlisle's account, peppered with these treasured diary entries and letters, provides the reader with the full arc of Elizabeth Porter Phelps's life — from childhood to death — against the dramatic background of familiar history: the French and Indian Wars, the American Revolution, Shays Rebellion, the War of 1812.

With her thorough knowledge, research, and insight — and with twenty black-and-white photos of the house and its furnishings — Elizabeth Pendergast Carlisle has resurrected a rich and fascinating world and brought the Phelps family story back to vibrant life. In the tradition of the bestseller A Midwife's Tale, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich's look at eighteenth-century New England social history, Earthbound and Heavenbent makes American history vivid and accessible through the intimate details of a real woman's life.

About the Author

Elizabeth Pendergast Carlisle graduated from Smith College in 1949 and went on to teach and receive master's degrees in English and art history, and a doctorate in museum studies. This is her first book. She lives in Leverett, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface

I. A Foundation Laid

II. Pleasures of the Pen

III. Crossing the Threshold

IV. Conflict and Loss

V. A Tumultuous Time

VI. Fostering Heirs

VII. Some New Sorrows

VIII. "This Great Cathedral of a House"

IX. Once Again the Pleasures of a Pen

X. Binding the Ties

XI. Seeking the Celestial City

XII. The Valley of the Shadow

XIII. Ends and Beginnings

Afterword

Endnotes

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743244404
Subtitle:
Elizabeth Porter Phelps and Life at Forty Acres (1747-1817)
Author:
Carlisle, Elizabeth Pendergast
Publisher:
Scribner
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Social life and customs
Subject:
Women
Subject:
History
Subject:
Historical - U.S.
Subject:
New england
Subject:
United States - Colonial Period
Subject:
Hadley
Subject:
Women's Studies - General
Subject:
General History
Copyright:
Series Volume:
1246
Publication Date:
20040316
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.1875 in 18.704 oz

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Related Subjects

Biography » Women
History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » History

Earthbound and Heavenbent: Elizabeth Porter Phelps and Life at Forty Acres (1747-1817) Used Hardcover
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