The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh by Linda Colley
A Woman in World History

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Synopsis

In this remarkable reconstruction of an eighteenth-century woman's extraordinary and turbulent life, historian Linda Colley not only tells the story of Elizabeth Marsh, one of the most distinctive travelers of her time, but also opens a window onto a radically transforming world.Marsh was conceived in Jamaica, lived in London, Gibraltar, and Menorca, visited the Cape of Africa and Rio de Janeiro, explored eastern and southern India, and was held captive at the court of the sultan of Morocco. She was involved in land speculation in Florida and in international smuggling, and was caught up in three different slave systems. She was also a part of far larger histories. Marsh's lifetime saw new connections being forged across nations, continents, and oceans by war, empire, trade, navies, slavery, and print, and these developments shaped and distorted her own progress and the lives of those close to her. Colley brilliantly weaves together the personal and the epic in this compelling story of a woman in world history.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Linda Colley

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Born in Britain, Linda Colley has taught and written on history and current events on both sides of the Atlantic. Previously at Cambridge, Yale, and the London School of Economics, she is now Shelby M.C. Davis 1958 Professor of History at Princeton University. Her previous books include In Defiance of Oligarchy: The Tory Party, 1714-1760, Namier, and Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707-1837, for which she won the Wolfson Prize.
 
Published January 16, 2009 by Anchor. 400 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh

Kirkus Reviews

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Striving to create an intersection of the public and private, the personal and the historical, the author too often shifts the focus from Marsh to write at length about other members of her family.

Jun 15 2007 | Read Full Review of The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh...

The New York Times

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Thereafter, Marsh’s travels would be limited to “grimly functional rather than revelatory voyages.” As Colley writes in her introduction, inverting the usual biographical priorities, “this book charts a world in a life and a life in the world.” “The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh” is a dazzling perfor...

Sep 16 2007 | Read Full Review of The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh...

The Guardian

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The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh: A Woman in World History by Linda Colley 400pp, Harper Press, £25 This is a remarkable book, both for its contents and because it is a new species of biography.

May 26 2007 | Read Full Review of The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh...

Deseret News

"The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh" is most unusual, referred to by the author as "a book about a world in a life," meaning specifically the title character, who was born in England and lived from 1735-85.

Sep 30 2007 | Read Full Review of The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh...

London Review of Books

Milbourne had died earlier, in May 1779, aged 69, and during his final illness Elizabeth herself had gone back to England: one hopes out of family affection, but in any event to be sure that his will left provision for Elizabeth Maria, for if Milbourne’s money had come directly to her, it would h...

Jun 21 2007 | Read Full Review of The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh...

Bookmarks Magazine

At a time when women’s lives were confined to the roles of wife and mother, Elizabeth Marsh (1735–1785) defied conventions: she traveled to Central America, Africa, India, China, and Australia.

Jan 31 2008 | Read Full Review of The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh...

News Review.

At the core of the story of Elizabeth Marsh (1735-1785) is the disheartening, if unsurprising, realization that individual lives were as deeply impacted by globalism, commerce and war 300 years ago as they are today.

Oct 11 2007 | Read Full Review of The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh...

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Apr 06 2009 | Read Full Review of The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh...

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