"Thanks to Mrs. Ulrich's imaginative talent, Martha Ballard's diary becomes a major source through which we can vicariously experience the rural life of early New England and reimagine the character of men's and women's economic and family existence. We can also gain fresh and valuable information about the practice of midwifery, infant and maternal mortality, the life cycle of family work, and folk medicine. The book even contains an appendix listing every plant medicine mentioned in the diary....Historians will, of course, read this story with a deep appreciation of the professional skills that have made an obscure source accessible, engaging and valuable; nonprofessional readers will be even more appreciative in watching with delight and not a little wonder as a truly talented historian, before their eyes, unravels out of those hard knots of recorded fact the fascinating life of a community that in its complexity is at once so foreign, and yet so similar, to our own. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich wears her learning lightly and her prose sings."Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher is the author of 'A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812', published 1991 under ISBN 9780679733768 and ISBN 0679733760.