A midwife's tale: the life of Martha Ballard, based on her diary, 1785-1812

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Knopf, Mar 10, 1990 - Biography & Autobiography - 444 pages
12 Reviews
Martha Ballard was a midwife and medical practitioner. Her diary recounts the sensational events of her neighborhood--whether it be the ex-minister's wife charging a local judge with rape or the mass murder of a family--and catches the small movements that characterized life and death in an 18th-century town. Illustrated.

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User Review  - creynolds - LibraryThing

Generally pretty interesting information about a woman's life in the late 1700s-early 1800s based on her diary. My only criticism is that I think the author sometimes treated her interpretations of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jeanfeldeisen - LibraryThing

This book was marvelous. It was based on the midwife's diary but took parts of it and used it as background for a sociological and historical study of her life and times. I found it fascinating. It ... Read full review


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About the author (1990)

Beverly Wilson Palmer is former coordinator of the Writing Program at Pomona College and a seasoned documentary editor. Among her works is the two-volume The Selected Letters of Charles Sumner, also published by Northeastern University Press. She lives in Claremont, California. Laurel THatcher Ulrich, editor of the New England Women's Diaries Series, is the James Duncan Phillips Professor of History and Director of the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University.