Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West

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Thorndike Press, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 511 pages
35 Reviews
In the summer of 1916, Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamond Underwood, bored by society luncheons, charity work, and the effete men who courted them, left their families in Auburn, New York, to teach school in the wilds of northwestern Colorado. They lived with a family of homesteaders in the Elkhead Mountains and rode to school on horseback, often in blinding blizzards. Their students walked or skied, in tattered clothes and shoes tied together with string. The young cattle rancher who had lured them west, Ferry Carpenter, had promised them the adventure of a lifetime. He hadn't let on that they would be considered dazzling prospective brides for the locals.

Nearly a hundred years later, Dorothy Wickenden, the granddaughter of Dorothy Woodruff, found the teachers' buoyant letters home, which captured the voices of the pioneer women, the children, and other unforgettable people the women got to know. In reconstructing their journey, Wickenden has created an exhilarating saga about two intrepid women and the "settling up" of the West.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BBleil - LibraryThing

One of my favorite things to do when reading nonfiction titles is to look at the pictures. Whether there is an insert of glossy pictures in the middle of the tome or they are interspersed throughout ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Pat_F. - LibraryThing

Man, I am 0-for-2 this week in finishing books. I couldn't get through this one, either. I was interested in it because the protagonists are two young women from upstate New York, and it's the true ... Read full review

About the author (2013)

Dorothy Wickenden has been the executive editor of "The New Yorker" since January 1996. She also writes for the magazine and is the moderator of its weekly podcast "The Political Scene." She is on the faculty of The Writers' Institute at CUNY's Graduate Center, where she teaches a course on narrative nonfiction. A former Nieman Fellow at Harvard, Wickenden was national affairs editor at "Newsweek" from 1993-1995 and before that was the longtime executive editor at "The New Republic." She lives with her husband and her two daughters in Westchester, New York.

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