An Extraordinary Ordinary Woman: The Journal of Phebe Orvis, 1820-1830
She was not a famous women, yet she kept a diary constantly for a decade in the early part of the 1800s. Her name is Phebe Orvis, and this is her diary. The first part of the book is a collection of essays by various scholars that examines the type of world that Phebe Orvis would have lived in in New York, especially rural New York, and especially during the Second Great Awakening and the religious fervor that it inspired. The essays help bring this very bare-bones diary to life and help place it into context. And then the second half of the book is the actual diary itself; as a rural women, she would not have had a lot of time to write down her thoughts at the end of a long day, and this is evident in the length of her entries. They are short, generally a couple of sentences. Rarely do you get one longer than, say, a paragraph. While they help give details on her daily life, they do get a bit repetitive. And that brings me to my major problem with this book: the physical size of the book compared to her diary. I am not sure why it needs to be so much bigger than a normal sized book.
|Author||Susan M. Ouellette|
|Page Count||448 pages|
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