Public Program- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Lectures and Performances
Thursday, October 21, 2010 - 7:30pm

Reflections on A Midwife's Tale
by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

The Seventh Annual Robert C. Baron Lecture

A Midwife's Tale
The book A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 quickly became a model of social history when it was published in 1990. The book examines the life of one Maine midwife and provides a vivid examination of ordinary life in the early American republic, including the role of women in the household and local market economy, the nature of marriage, sexual relations, family life, aspects of medical practice, and the prevalence of crime and violence. The book won many awards including the Pulitzer Prize for History and the Bancroft Prize. A Midwife's Tale was also developed into a film of the same name which aired on The American Experience television program. In this lecture Professor Ulrich reflects upon some of the scholarly, popular, and political responses to the book and considers its impact on her own more recent work.

Laurel Ulrich

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich is 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard University, where she teaches in the History Department. She is also the author of Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Early New England, 1650-1750 (1982); The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth (2001); and Well-behaved Women Seldom Make History (2007).

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