Synopses & Reviews
Drawing on the diaries of a midwife and healer in eighteenth-century Maine, this intimate history illuminates the medical practices, household economies, religious rivalries, and sexual mores of the New England frontier.
"A truly talented historian unravels the fascinating life of a community that is so foreign, and yet so similar to our own." Carl N. Degler, The New York Times Book Review
"A major source through which we can vicariously experience the rural life of early New England." The New York Times Book Review
PULITZER PRIZE WINNER - Drawing on the diaries of one woman in eighteenth-century Maine, A truly talented historian unravels the fascinating life of a community that is so foreign, and yet so similar to our own (The New York Times Book Review).
Between 1785 and 1812 a midwife and healer named Martha Ballard kept a diary that recorded her arduous work (in 27 years she attended 816 births) as well as her domestic life in Hallowell, Maine. On the basis of that diary, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich gives us an intimate and densely imagined portrait, not only of the industrious and reticent Martha Ballard but of her society. At once lively and impeccably scholarly, A Midwife's Tale is a triumph of history on a human scale.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 366-411) and index.
About the Author
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich is Phillips Professor of Early American History at Harvard University. Formerly a professor of American history at the University of New Hampshire, she is the author of Good Wives (1982) and numerous articles and essays on early American history. She won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1991 for A Midwifes Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812. Born and raised in the Rocky Mountain West, she has lived in New England since 1960. During her tenure as a MacArthur Fellow, she assisted in the production of a PBS documentary based on A Midwifes Tale. Her work is also featured on an award-winning Web site called dohistory.org. She and her husband, Gael Ulrich, are the parents of five grown children.