The Sound of Our Own Voices: Women's Study Clubs 1860-1910

Theodora Penny Martin, Author Beacon Press (MA) $25 (254p) ISBN 978-0-8070-6710-9
Women's study clubs, often the butt of caricature and satire, flourished in post-Civil War America as an important element of acquiring knowledge. In this chronicle of ordinary womenmiddle class, usually middle-agedwe see their understanding of the primacy of self-education, their eagerness to meet regularly in each other's homes to seriously study subjects that would ""enlarge the mental horizon as well as the knowledge'' of the members. As Martin, professor of education at Michigan State University, observes, these clubs filled the gaps between society's formal institutions of learning and the informal needs of individual women, and were precursors of college education for women. In the detailed minutes of one club reprinted herethe Decatur (Illinois) Art Class, begun in 1880the growing strength of sisterhood may be traced. Photos. (October)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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