Book of the Month for July 2008

This month’s selection is a biography I read several years ago and absolutely loved. A Midwife’s Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich is based on the diary of Martha Ballard, a frontier midwife and healer practicing during the early years of our nation. Because of the great records Martha kept, it is as much a history as a biography. It is also a great read, following the activities of the Ballard family and the town-describing in detail people, business, relationships, and behavior. The diary starts during the Revolutionary period with glimpses of this transition, but focuses on early frontier living. Though Martha’s words are terse, her content is not. Ulrich has done an excellent job of fleshing out Martha’s story. Because of the historical content, it is a fascinating read for anyone. But especially for women who have an interest in women’s history.


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