|Part of my family, early 1900s|
I love antiques, and often find myself searching through all sorts of ancient (to me) objects. This book is one of them.
The Ideas of a Plain Country Woman by “The Country Contributor”, published in 1909. This nameless woman wrote several articles for Indianapolis News and then a few for Ladies Home Journal.
As I struggled to adjust to the writing style of more than one hundred years ago, I also was reminded of my grandmothers who were alive, young women even, at that time period. While this book could have been entertaining as a memoir of the ‘good ol’ times’, with frequent references to milking cows and churning milk, it did not.
|My Grandmother, 1916|
Instead this Writer presented the conflict her generation felt with being a countrywoman who has an Eighth Grade education, and sees what is coming for the next generation. She started the book writing about her struggles in a one room school house, and her struggles with math. When the writer finished 8th grade, she was filled with a sense of accomplishment.
The Writer wrote about men, and how their perspectives are with the bigger picture. “…Men think in years and decades…but a woman’s life is in the details of the big schemes of things…(she) rebels (and) wishes she, too, take a hand at epoch making…”
She also reflected on Women Suffragettes and the right to vote. All for it, the Writer wondered then about the home and how it would change. “…wherever you are, wherever there is a
point of alert, interested consciousness,
THERE is the centre of the universe…”
|One room school house; my dad holding the ball, in front|
The Writer wrote about her daughter’s high school graduation. This was an accomplishment in its own in 1900. But, as she listened to the guest speaker degraded any woman who did not keep moving into the university, the Writer looked at her daughter. The young lady already was going to teach in a local school, and change lives by education.
While this book tends to wander in its prose, the Writer stays true to her understanding that there is the centre of the universe, and it is wherever the reader finds it to be.
This is for “Teaser Tuesday” with The Golden Eagle at