Award-winning historian Martha Hodes brings us into the extraordinary world of Eunice Connolly. Born white and poor in New England, Eunice moved from countryside to factory city, worked in the mills, then followed her husband to the Deep South.Read more...
Award-winning historian Martha Hodes brings us into the extraordinary world of Eunice Connolly. Born white and poor in New England, Eunice moved from countryside to factory city, worked in the mills, then followed her husband to the Deep South. When the Civil War came, Eunice's brothers joined the Union army while her husband fought and died for the Confederacy. Back in New England, a widow and the mother of two, Eunice barely got by as a washerwoman, struggling with crushing depression. Four years later, she fell in love with a black sea captain, married him, and moved to his home in the West Indies. Following every lead in a collection of 500 family letters, Hodes traced Eunice's footsteps and met descendants along the way. This story of misfortune and defiance takes up grand themes of American history--opportunity and racism, war and freedom--and illuminates the lives of ordinary people in the past.
A Library Journal Best Book of the Year and a selection of the Book of the Month Club, Literary Guild, and Quality Paperback Book Club.
- ISBN-13: 9780393330298
- ISBN-10: 039333029X
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
- Publish Date: September 2007
- Page Count: 384
- Dimensions: 8.26 x 6.33 x 0.95 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.75 pounds
The Sea Captain's Wife
This beautifully rendered biography tells the fascinating story of Eunice Richardson Stone Connolly, a mill worker in New Hampshire during the mid-1800s. In hopes of improving their fortunes, Eunice and her husband relocate to the South, but when the Civil War erupts, he fights for the Confederacy, and Eunicedesperately homesickgoes back to New Hampshire. Although she is dirt poor, Eunice is nevertheless respected in society because she is white. Once she learns that her husband is dead, however, Eunice bravely defies convention and marries a wealthy black sea captain from Grand Cayman Island, returning with him to his home in the Caribbean. Hodes draws on a collection of Connolly's letters to construct a wonderfully detailed portrait of her fearless young heroine and of America during a critical time in its evolution. Exploring the conflict between the North and the South, and the implications of mixed marriages in an era when such unions were unthinkable, Hodes, who is a historian at New York University, writes with authority. She brings a wealth of knowledge to this compelling and authentic recreation of Connolly's life.
A reading group guide is available at www.wwnorton.com/guides.