A House Full of Females by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
Plural Marriage and Women's Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870

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While Ulrich creates an absorbing history of intimate lives, individuals’ religious passions and acceptance of polygamy remain mysterious.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

From the author of A Midwife's Tale, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Bancroft Prize for History, and The Age of Homespun--a revelatory, nuanced, and deeply intimate look at the world of early Mormon women whose seemingly ordinary lives belied an astonishingly revolutionary spirit, drive, and determination.

A stunning and sure-to-be controversial book that pieces together, through more than two dozen nineteenth-century diaries, letters, albums, minute-books, and quilts left by first-generation Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, the never-before-told story of the earliest days of the women of Mormon "plural marriage," whose right to vote in the state of Utah was given to them by a Mormon-dominated legislature as an outgrowth of polygamy in 1870, fifty years ahead of the vote nationally ratified by Congress, and who became political actors in spite of, or because of, their marital arrangements. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, writing of this small group of Mormon women who've previously been seen as mere names and dates, has brilliantly reconstructed these textured, complex lives to give us a fulsome portrait of who these women were and of their "sex radicalism"--the idea that a woman should choose when and with whom to bear children.
 

About Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

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Laurel Thatcher Ulrich is currently Phillips Professor of Early American History and 300th Anniversary University Professor at Harvard. Her book A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1795-1812, won the Pulitzer Prize in History, the Bancroft Prize, and the American Historical Society's John H. Dunning and Joan Kelly Memorial Prizes. Ulrich's discovery of Martha Ballard and work on the diary has been chronicled in a documentary film written and produced by Laurie Kahn-Leavitt with major funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Experience television series. Ulrich is also the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and many other honors and awards.
 
Published January 10, 2017 by Knopf. 512 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for A House Full of Females
All: 2 | Positive: 0 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Above average
on Oct 18 2016

While Ulrich creates an absorbing history of intimate lives, individuals’ religious passions and acceptance of polygamy remain mysterious.

Read Full Review of A House Full of Females: Plur... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Below average
on Aug 24 2017

Impeccable scholarship and a fascinating topic suffer somewhat from the book’s organization. Each chapter moves ahead chronologically, but Ulrich also frequently jumps out of sequence, and because she writes about a fair number of people, many of whom have similar names, the problem multiplies.

Read Full Review of A House Full of Females: Plur... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

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