A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812

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Vintage Books, 1991 - Biography & Autobiography - 444 pages
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 -- a portrait that sheds light on its medical practices, religious squabbles and sexual mores.

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User Review  - marshapetry - LibraryThing

Sometimes I need more than 5 stars to review a book, this is one. Fascinating book revealing life on the edge at the beginning of white America. Every day every action, every death, every birth, every ... Read full review

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User Review  - GennaC - LibraryThing

An intimate look at the life of a 18th-century midwife, healer, housewife, and mother in rural Maine. Drawing on the seemingly bare diary entries of Martha Ballard, Ulrich paints an honest and vivid ... Read full review


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