By Judy Nolte Lensink
The sound of nineteenth-century girls, as soon as notion misplaced to us, is alive simply because traditional ladies like Emily Hawley Gillespie gave voice to their options in diaries. This condensed model of the 2,500-page journals of Emily Gillespie, faithfully written from 1858 to 1888, is an in depth account of rural Iowa lifestyles. greater than this, it comprises the reflections of a lady who dreamed of being a painter and author and in its place turned a spouse and a mom, a girl whose radical convictions have been recorded in her diary, whereas publicly she conformed to the prescribed lifetime of a Victorian pioneer girl. via Emily's journals, readers are provided fast and unmodified touch with settlers in Iowa 100 years in the past. A wealth of evidence are includedOCowhat produce she harvested and preserved from her backyard, how her husband tended his fields and what he raised, the demanding situations and rewards of relations life.Judy Lensink's skillful research exhibits the bigger styles in Emily Gillespie's existence and gives keys that release the diary's secrets and techniques. Emily's existence is published as a formative years jam-packed with promise fading into center and declining years of misplaced goals and eventual tragedy, which triggered her to jot down, i've got written "many" issues in my magazine, however the worst is a mystery to be burried while I shall stop to be."
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Extra info for A secret to be burried: the diary and life of Emily Hawley Gillespie, 1858-1888
Mother 31. Pleasant. September 1858 Frid. I went to 3. Culvers & did her ironing. * * * Satur. * * * Edna is very sick, we got quite afraid, oh has 4. Warm. Mon. Mother says if I will take care of Edna, she will do the work. 6. * * * Thurs. Thirsting was killed today while going up in a 16. Pleasant Tues. Culver's horse & Edna & I went to Hudson; take 21. * * * Fri. Albert [Hawley] took Lucina & me to Ottikee to be examined 24. all got [teaching] Certificates. . Tues. am going to see how Aunt Mary is & stay all 28.
Gillespie was an excellent journalist who recorded agricultural processes and details of nineteenth-century material culture as well as her inner life. Given this rich document, other scholars could create a different version of Emily Gillespie's journal. The focus of my study is the daily interaction between an individual woman and prescriptive gender ideology. Throughout the reading and editing process I have asked the following questions: What does Gillespie think she should be doing? How does this conform with what she indeed does?
We Cannot Always Live at Home": 1861-1862 50 3. Emily Hawley, Unmarried Woman 84 Part II. "We Are a Happy Family Circle": Emily Gillespie, Wife and Mother 4. "Seems Good to Know We Live at Home": 1862-1874 103 5. Emily Gillespie, Wife and Mother 177 Part III. "Woman Is Always Lovely Until Her Strength & Beauty Fail": Emily Hawley Gillespie, Woman 6. "Tis the Saddest . . Merely to Be Always at Home": 1874-1883 193 7. "No Home Here": 1883-1888 266 8. Emily Hawley Gillespie, Woman 350 Conclusion: The Diary as Female Autobiography 378 Notes 397 Bibliography 431 Index 441 Page ix ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I wish to thank Joyce Giaquinta, past manuscripts librarian at the Iowa State Historical Society, for first showing me the Gillespie diary.