To comfort the heart : women in seventeenth-century America /

Main Author: Treckel, Paula A.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: New York, N.Y. : London : Twayne Publishers ; c1996.
Series: American women, 1600-1900.
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Review by Choice Review

Treckel's history of American women to 1748 is intended for undergraduates and general readers and succeeds nicely as such. Good biographical examples and felicitous writing will engage these readers, but for this audience, figures and tables to simplify demographic data would have been helpful. Advanced readers, on the other hand, will find the coverage brief and the notes and bibliography modest. The book focuses in turn on the women's English background, migration, demography, work and domestic life, women's rights and law, and religion. Treckel also addresses Native American and African American women's culture and experiences. The author's topical organization occasionally overshadows chronological and regional aspects of her account. New England gets the most attention--like the corpus of literature on early America--and regrettably, the memorable woman tends to become the New Englander. Treckel summarizes this era of migration as harsh--the "chaos of colonization." Nevertheless, except for Southern and black women, it was more likely a welcome good fortune to migrate from the chaos and bleak prospects of England. J. D. Marietta University of Arizona

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.