Nothing Daunted by Dorothy Wickenden

88%

16 Critic Reviews

... it seems fitting that the schoolhouse became the centerpiece of this book, a historical rescue effort as impressive in its way as Dorothy and Ros’s adventure a century earlier.
-NY Times

Synopsis

The acclaimed and captivating true story of two restless society girls who left their affluent lives to “rough it” as teachers in the wilds of Colorado in 1916.

In the summer of 1916, Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamond Underwood, bored by society luncheons, charity work, and the effete men who courted them, left their families in Auburn, New York, to teach school in the wilds of northwestern Colorado. They lived with a family of homesteaders in the Elkhead Mountains and rode to school on horseback, often in blinding blizzards. Their students walked or skied, in tattered clothes and shoes tied together with string. The young cattle rancher who had lured them west, Ferry Carpenter, had promised them the adventure of a lifetime. He hadn’t let on that they would be considered dazzling prospective brides for the locals.

Nearly a hundred years later, Dorothy Wickenden, the granddaughter of Dorothy Woodruff, found the teachers’ buoyant letters home, which captured the voices of the pioneer women, the children, and other unforgettable people the women got to know. In reconstructing their journey, Wickenden has created an exhilarating saga about two intrepid women and the “settling up” of the West.
 

About Dorothy Wickenden

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Dorothy Wickenden has been the executive editor of The New Yorker since January 1996. A former Nieman Fellow at Harvard, Wickenden was national affairs editor at Newsweek from 1993-1995 and before that was the longtime executive editor at The New Republic. She lives with her husband and her two daughters in Westchester, New York.
 
Published June 21, 2011 by Scribner. 306 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Jul 24 2011
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Nothing Daunted
All: 16 | Positive: 16 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on Apr 05 2011

An absorbing maze of a book—readers may well, like Woodruff and Underwood, find their hearts lost to the West.

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Maria Russo on Jun 24 2011

... it seems fitting that the schoolhouse became the centerpiece of this book, a historical rescue effort as impressive in its way as Dorothy and Ros’s adventure a century earlier.

Read Full Review of Nothing Daunted | See more reviews from NY Times

Publishers Weekly

Good
on Apr 18 2011

Wickenden brings to life two women who otherwise might have been lost to history and who took part in creating the modern-day West.

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Entertainment Weekly

Good
Reviewed by Lisa Schwarzbaum on Jun 16 2011

...a brightly painted mural of America under construction a century ago, personified by two ladies of true grit who were nothing daunted and everything enthusiastic about where the new century would take them.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Marie Arana on Feb 13 2013

“Nothing Daunted” is a brilliant little gem of Americana.

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Christian Science Monitor

Excellent
Reviewed by Marjorie Kehe on Jul 08 2011

For charm and pleasing readability, you won’t find much to beat it.

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USA Today

Good
Reviewed by Bob Minzesheimer on Jul 05 2011

The adventures...come alive in Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West, Dorothy Wickenden's fascinating slice of social history.

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Washington Independent Review of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Natalie Wexler on Feb 13 2013

...an account of one remarkable year in the lives of two remarkable young women, Nothing Daunted succeeds admirably.

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Denver Post

Good
Reviewed by Sandra Dallas on Jul 03 2011

...Ros and Dorothy, who lived to be old women, agreed it was an extraordinary time. And "Nothing Daunted" is an extraordinary book.

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Chron.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Elizabeth Bennett on Jun 26 2011

Wickenden is a lucky and talented writer. She has an interesting grandmother with an interesting best friend to write about. Both women spring to life in this wonderful book.

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Watermark Books And Cafe

Above average
Reviewed by Shirley Wells on Feb 13 2013

These two ladies had an amazing and admirable 83-year friendship!

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Story Circle Book Reviews

Above average
Reviewed by Martha Meacham on May 30 2011

Readers interested in the nascent history of women's rights and the related issues of opportunities for women will likely appreciate this author's work...

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Her Circle Magazine

Excellent
Reviewed by Tori Grant-Welhouse on Jun 01 2012

A must-read for anyone with a sense of adventure.

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TheRecord.com

Above average
Reviewed by Joanne Guidoccio on Aug 19 2011

...we get many insights into living and teaching conditions in the wilds of Colorado, circa 1916.

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High Country News

Excellent
Reviewed by Erica Wetter on Dec 26 2011

...equal parts family history, American history, love story, and real-life adventure.

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History and Women.

Excellent
on Jul 20 2011

It is an exceptional look at an era long past and will stand as an inspiring record of two women's courage to face rugged challenges and adversity.

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Reader Rating for Nothing Daunted
71%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 428 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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