All Will Yet Be Well" : the Diary of Sarah Gillespie Huftalen, 1873-1952.
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Titel: All Will Yet Be Well" : the Diary of Sarah ...
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Sarah Gillespie Huftalen led an unconventional life for a rural midwestern woman of her time. Born in 1865 near Manchester, Iowa, she was a farm girl who became a highly regarded country school and college teacher; she married a man older than either of her parents, received a college degree later in life, and was committed to both family and career. A gifted writer, she crafted essays, teacher-training guides, and poetry while continuing to write lengthy, introspective entries in her diary, which spans the years from 1873 to 1952. In addition, she gathered extensive information about the quietly tragic life of her mother, Emily, and worked to preserve Emily's own detailed diary.
In more than 3,500 pages, Sarah writes about her multiple roles as daughter, sister, wife, teacher, family historian, and public figure. Her diary reflects the process by which she was socialized into these roles and her growing consciousness of the ways in which these roles intersected. Not only does her diary embody the diverse strategies used by one woman to chart her life's course and to preserve her life's story for future generations, it also offers ample evidence of the diary as a primary form of private autobiography for individuals whose lives do not lend themselves to traditional definitions of autobiography.
Taken together, Emily's and Sarah's extraordinary diaries span nearly a century and thus form a unique mother/daughter chronicle of daily work and thoughts, interactions with neighbors and friends and colleagues, and the destructive family dynamics that dominated the Gillespies. Sarah's consciousness of the abusive relationship between her mother and father haunts her diary, and this dramatic relationship is duplicated in Sarah's relationship with her brother, Henry. Suzanne Bunkers' skillful editing and analysis of Sarah's diary reveal the legacy of a caring, loving mother reflected in her daughter's work as family member, teacher, and citizen.
The rich entries in Sarah Gillespie Huftalen's diary offer us brilliant insights into the importance of female kinship networks in American life, the valued status of many women as family chronicles, and the fine art of selecting, piecing, stitching, and quilting that characterizes the many shapes of women's autobiographies. Read Sarah's diary to discover why "all will yet be well."
This volume represents 15 to 20% of the voluminous diaries of Gillespie, who was born in 1865; the entries have been selected and edited by Bunkers ( The Diary of Caroline Seabury, 1854-1863 ). Early entries record life on the Gillespies' Iowa farm and the problems typical of childhood, as well as those more particular to her family: James, her father, was inclined to depression and was all too often cruel to Emily, beloved mother. As Sarah matures and begins to teach in rural schools, she is torn between her work and her desire to care for her ailing mother. Sarah is a suffragette who thrives in her profession, writing articles, serving as a county superintendent of schools and teaching at Upper Iowa University. Yet with all these achievements, and after a happy, 22-year marriage to William Huftalen that ends with his death in 1913, duty draws her back to the family farm to care for her unmarried brother, Henry. She spends many of her final years in an unhappy relationship eerily like that of her parents. This volume should appeal to readers, particularly scholars of women's history, autobiography and educational studies. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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