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Publisher's Summary

Drawing on the diaries of one woman in 18th-century Maine, this intimate history illuminates the medical practices, household economies, religious rivalries, and sexual mores of the New England frontier.
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. At once lively and impeccably scholarly, A Midwife's Tale is a triumph of history on a human scale.
©1990 Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (P)2017 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"A truly talented historian unravels the fascinating life of a community that is so foreign, and yet so similar to our own." (New York Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Megan Mavy on 12-22-17

drew me in

It was slow going at first, but grabbed me a couple chapters in and didn't let go. Great narration, fascinating history, and I absolutely fell in love with Martha. Will probably listen again in a couple years.

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By Anamaria Stone on 08-16-17

slow story

very slow story line, I didn't get past chapter two. This was not for me and I love mother baby.

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