WILDERNESS WIFE by Etta De Gering

WILDERNESS WIFE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

She's Rebecca Boone and she almost makes her husband Daniel's exploits seem pale. She was seventeen when she married Daniel (she accepted his proposal after he purposely slit her new apron playing mumblety-peg), and within the next few years she was looking after her growing family, taking complete charge of the Virginia homestead while Daniel went on his long hunting trips, and helped to support him through his debts. She went with him to be among the first settlers in Kentucky and she was the first white woman to reach the Kentucky River. The hardships of living in the wilderness have been vividly described. Along with the wear and tear of daily household life (annotated quite fully here) Rebecca had to cope with her nine children (she was heading a family of great-grandchildren when she was in her fifties), deal with Indian raids, provide for the family while Daniel was away, and back him up through his continual financial disasters. The account is well-researched, detailed but well-organized. Unfortunately the heavy use of backwoods dialect weakens the account and makes this a less successful biography than the author's Gallaudet: Friend of the Deaf (1964).

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1966
Publisher: McKay