Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Book Notes: Little on Wheelwright

Ann Little's The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright, her Yale University Press biography of the New England girl, born 1696, who lived nine years with her family in Maine, then five years among the Wabanaki, then eighty-four seventy-two years in Quebec City, mostlyas a cloistered Ursuline nun and mother superior, is getting some very appreciative reviews:
What was it like for Esther to experience so much upheaval? We can conjecture, but we don’t really know; she didn’t write a captivity narrative or other autobiography, and fragments of her story are scattered among the many different archives that Little consulted. She often doesn’t write about Esther directly, but instead discusses events in other people’s lives that might have been similar to those experienced by Esther.
Esther Wheelwright is reasonably well established in Canadian historiography, I think. She's in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography. There was a well-received Canadian biography Esther: The Remarkable True Story of Esther Wheelwright, by Julie Wheelwright (actually a descendant) in 2011. So Ann Little's book seems to be more of a revelation in the United States. But that does not have to take away from its achievement.

And... nice to see confirmed that a prolific history blogger is also a prolific history scholar. (Not that anyone would ever doubt it was possible.)
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