Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Scribbling Women Blog Tour

Today I have a special treat for you. I am participating in a blog book tour for Scribbling Women, a book by Marthe Jocelyn. The book is perfect for Women's History Month, and I highly recommend it. Here is my review.

Marthe Jocelyn
Nonfiction
For ages 12 and up
Tundra Books, 2011, 978-0887769528
   For hundreds of years, women have used the written word to connect with friends and family members, to capture their thoughts, to share their lives with others, and to share ideas that they cared about. Often many of these “scribblings” disappeared, and we have no idea what the women said. However, sometimes their words were preserved on purpose or by accident, and we can now read these women’s writings many years after they died.
   For this book, Marthe Jocelyn has written about eleven women from around the world who wrote letters, journals, or books that we are still able to read today. She begins by looking at the life and writings of Sei Shonagon, a lady-in-waiting who served in the imperial court of Japan in the tenth century. Sei wrote what is called The Pillow Book, which is a kind of journal filled with a collection of lists, gossip, poetry, observations, complaints, and descriptions. Her writings capture her keen intelligence and her often caustic wit. Thanks to Sei we have a better understanding what it was like to live in the imperial court of Japan so long ago.
   Similarly, the letters that Margaret Catchpole wrote show us what life in the penal colony in Sydney, Australia, was like in the early 1800’s. Margaret stole a horse, and for this crime, she was transported to Australia where she spent the rest of her life. Though she was not educated, she wrote letters to a friend back in England, describing her new life and the trials that she had to bear. Margaret’s personality comes through in her letters, and one can almost hear her voice as one reads the phonetically spelled words she wrote.
   Isabella Beeton’s famous Book of Household Management had a profound effect on the lives of women living in Britain in the 19th century. Her comprehensive book contains 2,751 entries, which includes recipes, household tips, information about food, household management advice and much more. Isabella’s goal was to create a work that women would be able be able to use so that their homes were efficiently run, economical, and homey. She changed the way cook books were written, and helped countless women tolearn the complicated business of running a household.
   Readers who are interested in the stories of women from history will be fascinated by this book, as will readers who like to read about writers and the impact their writings have. Marthe Jocelyn tells the stories of women who scribbled in books and on pieces of paper long ago, and also not so long ago. Some of the women were famous like Isabella Beeton, Nellie Bly and Mary Kingsley, while others lived quiet more domestic lives. She shows us that these “scribblings” are truly precious, and that we have much to learn from them.
   Packed with interesting details about the times that the eleven women lived in, and with numerous quotes from their writings throughout, this is a book that will inspire both young and adult readers.

Here are some of the books that were written by the women mentioned in Scribbling Women. I thought some of you might be interested in taking a trip into the past by reading a few of these titles.

Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management by Isabella Beeton

The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagen
Around the world in 72 Days by Nellie Bly
Caprice: A Stockman's Daughter by Doris Pilkington Garimara
Incidents in the life of a slave girl by Harriet Jacobs


Please visit the other stops of the blog tour. You will find a list of the stops on the Tundra Scribbling Women Blog Tour page.

11 comments:

Jennifer said...

I'd never heard of Incidents of a Slave Girl before I read Scribbling Women. It's on my TBR now, as are the other books you've posted.

Laura said...

I loved Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs. I don't think many are exposed to her and should be required reading in history classes.
Laura
laura.leahj@gmail dot com

Jodi Webb said...

Thinking back...do they include many women in history class?

Teresa said...

I'm with Jodi, how many women did we learn about? This book is a great springboard to other research.

Marya Jansen-Gruber said...

I did not learn about many women at all. Except Cleopatra perhaps. My parents bought me biographies about Florence Nightingale, women zoologists, and women explorers that I read. We need to share these stories with both boys and girls.

Heather said...

Wow, I didn't even consider that women are the ones who keep the families in touch. They are the ones that send the cards, update the relatives on events and accomplishments, essentially maintain those family ties. cool.

marthejocelyn said...

thank you for posting all those links for continued reading!

and thank you all for noticing that Scribbling Women might be useful and intriguing to use in a classroom. I'm hoping that at some point it will show up on a curriculum.

Martha said...

we all know that women are the invisible but essential connective tissue in human relationships. on bits of paper, in letters, in lists and books of household information, Scribbling Women is a testament to this truth.

Fear Not the Darkness but What lies Within said...

Sheilagh Lee said: history of women waht an intersting concept for a book.something that a lot of women and men would be pleased to read

Christinabean said...

Great idea to post the links for readers to continue with these authors!

Rebecca said...

*Love* that you found the links for titles the Scribblers wrote :o)