|View single post by Widow|
|Posted: Sun Jan 7th, 2007 02:57 pm||
|I recently read Founding Mothers, by Cokie Roberts. A superb study of the lives of the women of our Revolutionary period, the women whose husbands, sons, and brothers were the Founding Fathers.
There was little information about them, but Roberts' meticulous research found letters and diaries to give us a well-sketched view of how they lived, sacrificed, and suffered while their men were away from home.
All of those women, from Deborah Franklin to Dolley Madison, were well educated. They not only followed the political and military events eagerly, but they wrote letters to each other about them. Some even wrote pamphlets and newspaper articles, going way beyond the traditional roles of women in the 18th century.
Roberts offered her comments and opinions about the events and people, including the double standard. Those women had not only to be strong and resourceful, but also to make major decisions in the absence of their husbands. They had to manage the money, run the business, maintain the house and property, and of course bear and raise the children. Yet the social customs of the day expected them to be obedient and submissive. An impossible contradiction.
This book is NOT a complaint about the treatment of women. Rather, it's a matter-of-fact look at how those particular women lived during those tumultuous times.
Cokie Robers' writing style is informal, almost conversational. I felt that we were chatting in my living room. Or maybe hers, because she lives in Georgetown and I don't.