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The Needle's Eye: Women and Work in the Age of Revolution

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The Needle's Eye: Women and Work in the Age of Revolution Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Among the enduring stereotypes of early American history has been the colonial Goodwife, perpetually spinning, sewing, darning, and quilting, answering all of her family's textile needs. But the Goodwife of popular historical imagination obscures as much as she reveals; the icon appears to explain early American women's labor history while at the same time allowing it to go unexplained. Tensions of class and gender recede, and the largest artisanal trade open to early American women is obscured in the guise of domesticity. In this book, Marla R. Miller illuminates the significance of women's work in the clothing trades of the early Republic. Drawing on diaries, letters, reminiscences, ledgers, and material culture, she explores the contours of working women's lives in rural New England, offering a nuanced view of their varied ranks and roles--skilled and unskilled, black and white, artisanal and laboring--as producers and consumers, clients and craftswomen, employers and employees. By plumbing hierarchies of power and skill, Miller explains how needlework shaped and reflected the circumstances of real women's lives, at once drawing them together and setting them apart. The heart of the book brings into focus the entwined experiences of six women who lived in and around Hadley, Massachusetts, a thriving agricultural village nestled in a bend in the Connecticut River about halfway between the Connecticut and Vermont borders. Miller's examination of their distinct yet overlapping worlds reveals the myriad ways that the circumstances of everyday lives positioned women in relationship to one another, enlarging and limiting opportunities and shaping the trajectories of days, years, andlifetimes in ways both large and small. The Needle's Eye reveals not only how these women thought about their work, but how they thought about their world.

Book News Annotation:

In a project reflected in a Colonial Barbie doll, Miller (history, U. of Massachusetts Amherst) fills gaps in the history of colonial women's role in the skilled clothing trades. She examines how New England females, who lived in Hadley, where the author resides, experienced the socioeconomic and cultural changes of the evolving market economy. A photo (among other period images) of a woman wearing an ancestor's 18th century wedding gown for a 1910 July 4th celebration illustrates her point that nostalgia for clothes of that era represented ideas about heritage and patriotism.
Annotation 2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Book News Annotation:

In a project reflected in a Colonial Barbie doll, Miller (history, U. of Massachusetts Amherst) fills gaps in the history of colonial women's role in the skilled clothing trades. She examines how New England females, who lived in Hadley, where the author resides, experienced the socioeconomic and cultural changes of the evolving market economy. A photo (among other period images) of a woman wearing an ancestor's 18th century wedding gown for a 1910 July 4th celebration illustrates her point that nostalgia for clothes of that era represented ideas about heritage and patriotism. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781558495456
Author:
Miller, Marla R.
Publisher:
University of Massachusetts Press
Author:
Miller, Marla R.
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Women & Business
Subject:
History
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Women -- Employment -- Massachusetts.
Subject:
Needleworkers - Massachusetts - Hadley (Town)
Subject:
US History-General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20060931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
302
Dimensions:
9.16x6.32x.89 in. 1.15 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
History and Social Science » Americana » General
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