Letters of Woman Homesteader

This short collection of letters, which I never would have read -or even heard of!- had it not been recommended by another blogger, was quite a fascinating little book.

This homesteading woman, Elinore Pruitt Stewart, flies in the face of everything I thought I knew about the way women lived during this period in American history. She was bold, adventurous, and a risk taker in ways I could never imagine. She didn’t shy away from a challenge and she forged on despite numerous hardships. A genteel, shrinking violet waiting to be rescued, she most certainly was not.

It serves as another reminder of the vast difference between what many of us have been taught concerning life at the turn of the 20th Century/Victorian period, which is largely recounted through the lens of the affluent, and what life was really like. At least, what life was really like for those who were not wealthy, noble, or connected.

Of course, since these are the words of an American woman -a widow, no less – making her way out west to Wyoming to spread her wings and start anew, it has a very different flavor than it would had she been writing from the more established, less tempestuous east coast of the United States.

Letters of a Woman Homesteader is worth the read because of its historical value. What’s more, despite Mrs. Stewart’s limited education, she is quite the entertaining writer as well.

A-

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