Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History

WED, SEP 19, 2007 (57:46)

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich discusses her new book, Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History, which celebrates a renaissance in history inspired by amateurs, activists, and professional historians. Ulrich wrote, “They didn’t ask to be remembered”, in 1976 about the pious women of colonial New England. She then added a phrase that has since gained widespread currency: “Well-behaved women seldom make history”. Today those words appear almost everywhere, but what do they really mean? In this book, Ulrich goes far beyond the slogan she inadvertently created and explores what it means to make history. Ulrich, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Midwife’s Tale, is a professor at Harvard University.

+ BIO: Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich is 300th Anniversary University Professor. She is the author of Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Early New England, 1650-1750 (1982) and A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 (1990) which won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1991 and became the basis of a PBS documentary. In The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Making of an American Myth (2001), she has incorporated museum-based research as well as more traditional archival work. Her most recent book is Well-behaved Women Seldom Make History (2007). Her major fields of interest are early American social history, women’s history, and material culture. She came to New England in 1960 with her husband, Gael Urich, who completed an Sc.D. in Chemical Engineering at MIT. She completed her own graduate work at the University of New Hampshire while raising her five children. She came to Harvard in 1995 and now lives in Cambridge.

Margaret Mitchell House & Museum
African American Culture Series
A Girl’s Life Series