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Letters Of A Woman Homesteader: By Elinore Pruitt Stewart - Illustrated (Comes with a Free Audiobook)

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How is this book unique? Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Short Biography is also included 15 Illustrations are included One of the best books to read Best fiction books of all time Bestselling Novel Classic historical fiction books As a widow with a child, Elinore Pruitt left Denver in 1909 and set out for Wyoming, where s How is this book unique? Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Short Biography is also included 15 Illustrations are included One of the best books to read Best fiction books of all time Bestselling Novel Classic historical fiction books As a widow with a child, Elinore Pruitt left Denver in 1909 and set out for Wyoming, where she hoped to buy a ranch. Determined to prove that a lone woman could survive the hardships of homesteading, she initially worked as a housekeeper and hired hand for a neighbor—a kind but taciturn Scottish bachelor whom she eventually married. Spring and summers were hard, she concedes, and were taken up with branding, farming, doctoring cattle, and other chores. But with the arrival of fall, Pruitt found time to take her young daughter on camping trips and serve her neighbors as midwife, doctor, teacher, Santa Claus, and friend. She provides a candid portrait of these and other experiences in twenty-six letters written to a friend back in Denver. 'Letters Of A Woman Homesteader' is described by the 'Wall Street Journal' as "warmly delightful, vigorously affirmative," this unsurpassed classic of American frontier life, complete with many illustrations will charm today's audience as much as it fascinated readers when it was first published in 1914.


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How is this book unique? Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Short Biography is also included 15 Illustrations are included One of the best books to read Best fiction books of all time Bestselling Novel Classic historical fiction books As a widow with a child, Elinore Pruitt left Denver in 1909 and set out for Wyoming, where s How is this book unique? Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Short Biography is also included 15 Illustrations are included One of the best books to read Best fiction books of all time Bestselling Novel Classic historical fiction books As a widow with a child, Elinore Pruitt left Denver in 1909 and set out for Wyoming, where she hoped to buy a ranch. Determined to prove that a lone woman could survive the hardships of homesteading, she initially worked as a housekeeper and hired hand for a neighbor—a kind but taciturn Scottish bachelor whom she eventually married. Spring and summers were hard, she concedes, and were taken up with branding, farming, doctoring cattle, and other chores. But with the arrival of fall, Pruitt found time to take her young daughter on camping trips and serve her neighbors as midwife, doctor, teacher, Santa Claus, and friend. She provides a candid portrait of these and other experiences in twenty-six letters written to a friend back in Denver. 'Letters Of A Woman Homesteader' is described by the 'Wall Street Journal' as "warmly delightful, vigorously affirmative," this unsurpassed classic of American frontier life, complete with many illustrations will charm today's audience as much as it fascinated readers when it was first published in 1914.

30 review for Letters Of A Woman Homesteader: By Elinore Pruitt Stewart - Illustrated (Comes with a Free Audiobook)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Diane Barnes

    This lady had everything needed by the pioneer women. She was smart, kind, strong, not afraid of hard work, inventive, humble, had a great sense of humor and love of life. It never fails to amaze me when reading accounts of this type at how much people could get done in a week or a month or a year. Yeah, that's the thing about hard work....It gets things accomplished. Leaves very little time for whining and complaining. I very much enjoyed these letters describing a homesteader's life in Wyoming This lady had everything needed by the pioneer women. She was smart, kind, strong, not afraid of hard work, inventive, humble, had a great sense of humor and love of life. It never fails to amaze me when reading accounts of this type at how much people could get done in a week or a month or a year. Yeah, that's the thing about hard work....It gets things accomplished. Leaves very little time for whining and complaining. I very much enjoyed these letters describing a homesteader's life in Wyoming between 1909 and 1913.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carla Baku

    This is one of my favorite books of all time, and I have probably read it at least a dozen times. This is the story of a person who followed her heart and worked incredibly hard; the end result is that she built a life she loved. Set in Wyoming at the start of the 20th century, Stewart (a widowed single mother)left the drudgery of taking in wash to work on a cattle ranch and prove up her own piece of land for homesteading. She writes with wonderful droll humor and remarkable insight to the human This is one of my favorite books of all time, and I have probably read it at least a dozen times. This is the story of a person who followed her heart and worked incredibly hard; the end result is that she built a life she loved. Set in Wyoming at the start of the 20th century, Stewart (a widowed single mother)left the drudgery of taking in wash to work on a cattle ranch and prove up her own piece of land for homesteading. She writes with wonderful droll humor and remarkable insight to the human condition. To her dear friend, she says, "When you think of me, you must think of my as one who is truly happy. It is true I want a great many things I haven't got, but I don't want them enough to be discontented and not enjoy the many blessings that are mine....Do you wonder I am so happy? When I think of it all, I wonder how I can crowd all my joy into one short life." How many of us can say the same?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jessaka

    “Fallen trees were everywhere and we had to avoid the branches, which was powerful hard to do. Besides, it was quite dusky among the trees long before night, but it was all so grand and awe-inspiring. Occasionally there was an opening through which we could see the snowy peaks, seemingly just beyond us, toward which we were headed.But when you get among such grandeur you get to feel how little you are and how foolish is human endeavor, except that which reunites us with the mighty force called g “Fallen trees were everywhere and we had to avoid the branches, which was powerful hard to do. Besides, it was quite dusky among the trees long before night, but it was all so grand and awe-inspiring. Occasionally there was an opening through which we could see the snowy peaks, seemingly just beyond us, toward which we were headed.But when you get among such grandeur you get to feel how little you are and how foolish is human endeavor, except that which reunites us with the mighty force called god. I was plumb uncomfortable, because all my own efforts have always been just to make the best of everything and to take things as they come.” One of my friends sent me her worn out copy of this book as a loaner, because she believed it was such a great book. When it arrived it was so worn out from so many hands reading it. I loved it, so I suggested it for our book group and read it again. What makes this story so good? First, it is a true story written in the very early 1900s by a woman who had lost her husband and had then taken on a job as a housekeeper for a rancher in Wyoming. Along with the job, she had purchased land next to her new boss, intending to homestead it. She then began writing eloquent letters to her former boss, letters that were filled with adventure, as well as her life on the ranch. What makes this story so good is the fact that she didn’t talk about mundane things, instead she had adventures, but a few things are mundane, like talking about the food they are eating, no so mundane to me. I knew that I would have had to develop a taste for venision, for example, but some of the meals were really good. Then there is a story of her taking her young daughter on a camping trip when she knew that it could snow. They spent the night 30 miles from home, sleeping under a tree whose branches came to the ground. The idea was squeeze between the branches, blocking out access to wild animals like bears or cougars. Good luck, especially since she had built a campfire and was cooking their dinner, which could have attracted bears. When they woke up the next morning snow had covered the ground. This is when I began questioning her common sense, but then people have questioned my own over the years when I was on my own adventures. So now they had to find their way home. A 30 mile rope connected to her home would have been a good idea. Ha. Books like this remind me of The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder or Thirty Six Hours of Hell by E.N. Coones. And right now I am thinking of the -100 degree windchill factor in New Hampshire and wondering how people and their livestock are surviving, and then wondering how they would keep their homes warm. Other stories in this book were just not fascinating but caring as well. Taking food to a starving family, and then on Christmas taking food to the sheepherders in the area, which would make this a good Christmas book. So, if you get a chance check this book out as well as the other two that I have mentioned.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Artemis

    Of course I rate this book a five because my great grandmother wrote it and I can relate to it because of my grandmother's stories about growing up. However, if I was not related, I would still love this book because it is very similar in style to Jack London's prose. It has historical and sentimental value. Of course I rate this book a five because my great grandmother wrote it and I can relate to it because of my grandmother's stories about growing up. However, if I was not related, I would still love this book because it is very similar in style to Jack London's prose. It has historical and sentimental value.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lise Petrauskas

    I have fallen in love with Elinore Pruitt Stuart. For one thing, she's witty and kind. For another, I love her philosophy of scaring off troubles with a belly laugh. She's a keen observer of people and loves and can describe natural beauty. She is independent, curious, loyal, likes to eat, is kind to children and animals, is not afraid of hard work, is open-minded, and is honest enough to laugh at herself when she is wrong. She seems to have made friends easily, which is natural probably for som I have fallen in love with Elinore Pruitt Stuart. For one thing, she's witty and kind. For another, I love her philosophy of scaring off troubles with a belly laugh. She's a keen observer of people and loves and can describe natural beauty. She is independent, curious, loyal, likes to eat, is kind to children and animals, is not afraid of hard work, is open-minded, and is honest enough to laugh at herself when she is wrong. She seems to have made friends easily, which is natural probably for someone who is a cheerful, sympathetic listener, rejoices in the joys of others, and enjoys work. At a hotel where she happens to be staying once night with her young daughter, she meets an older male acquaintance who is meeting his fiancée of twenty-five years who he hasn't seen in as long. On finding out that she is going to be married on arrival but that no preparations have been made, Pruitt invites herself to the wedding meal. In the course of decorating a partially built room, arranging a feast, and seeking hot water for the dusty bride's toilette, she ends up helping in the kitchen of the hotel because the landlady doesn't have enough help and a full house. She loses track of the time because she's having so much fun. The woman is not perfect, nor are these perfect times, by any means, but it's an interesting picture of Wyoming society around 1910. At one point, Pruitt goes to a Mormon community and has a bunch of questions all ready for the 'bishop', but he is away. She and a friend end up staying at his second wife's home and being unable to bring herself to ask the questions because she has such pity for wife's situation. (The woman does talk about her husband and gives details of her domestic arrangements on the instigation of Pruitt's friend.) That she's not partial to Mormonism doesn't bother me. She's open about her opinions and is frankly interested in the phenomenon. It's a difference in belief. She is however horribly patronizing to and about "negroes." When she sees a black man on a train she guess he expects to be called "mister" and says that she'd learned after migrating to Wyoming from the South she could no longer call black people "uncle" and "auntie" as she had been used to do. It's disappointing how racist some of my homesteading heroines are. Laura Ingalls Wilder is also not free of prejudice and ignorance, though hers is directed toward native Americans. In the back of my mind while reading this was the thought that the holy homestead act that gave white women like Pruitt such opportunity for independence was destructive of native cultures as well contributing significantly to the environmental disasters of the dust-bowl and extermination of the bison. So there's that. But Elinore is some good company. Side note: I had heard that this book was the basis/inspiration for the movie 1979 film Heartland. I loved that movie, but I remember it being a bit bleaker than I found the book. I'll be interested to see it again.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Evelina | AvalinahsBooks

    I feel it would be unfair to rate someone's actual letters, a living person's letters, as I would a book. If, say, I wrote letters to a friend now, thinking nobody else will ever see or read them, who knows what I'd write? Imagine someone publishing your emails to your best friend. Yeah... Nope. Right? And that's why I'm not rating this book. But anyway, it was mostly boring, but also somewhat informative, and that's why I wanted to read it in the first place. I'm always curious about how actual I feel it would be unfair to rate someone's actual letters, a living person's letters, as I would a book. If, say, I wrote letters to a friend now, thinking nobody else will ever see or read them, who knows what I'd write? Imagine someone publishing your emails to your best friend. Yeah... Nope. Right? And that's why I'm not rating this book. But anyway, it was mostly boring, but also somewhat informative, and that's why I wanted to read it in the first place. I'm always curious about how actual people lived - and historical novels just don't cut it, they're just fiction. Life is often more simple than that, although sometimes it's wilder too. In this case, it was more simple. But that's okay, since I still noticed two interesting things that I took away from this book. First of all, it's how much community they seemed to have. Everyone had neighbors and kept them close. It's a thing I've always noticed about fiction from that day as well. Sadly, it's a thing we don't have anymore. We are so lonely. I will always envy the woman who wrote this letter the amazing community she had. It's just not so much a thing that happens these days, it seems. Or at least, maybe not in cities. I hope maybe it still does in rural places like the homestead in the book. The second thing was how optimistic this woman's outlook was. She had her fair share of sadness - a husband dead, a baby lost to illness. But she didn't let it put her down. She knew she wanted to smile and to find something good in any situation. I've never been able to do that, so I admire real stories of people who seemed to be able to. Fascinating. Oh, but content warning: this was written like literally more than 100 years ago, so there's definitely some casual racism :(

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rosana

    Letters of a Woman Homesteader hits close to my heart. My husband and I farm the land that his grand-parents first homestead in the 1910’s. I was not born here but I immigrated from Brazil close to 25 years ago. It was, and in some ways still is, a very hard adaptation to rural life and Canadian winters. I often think of those women pioneers that braved this land without the amenities I have: indoor plumbing, electricity, cars, phones, internet. Their stories and bravery is still part of the loc Letters of a Woman Homesteader hits close to my heart. My husband and I farm the land that his grand-parents first homestead in the 1910’s. I was not born here but I immigrated from Brazil close to 25 years ago. It was, and in some ways still is, a very hard adaptation to rural life and Canadian winters. I often think of those women pioneers that braved this land without the amenities I have: indoor plumbing, electricity, cars, phones, internet. Their stories and bravery is still part of the local lore: the neighbor lady who was the midwife; the grandmother who took a hammer and destroyed her brother’s moonshine setup; the feeding of dozens of men while those crews harvested the land; on and on… Elinore Pruitt Stewart adds another dimension to the experience of these women, that of feminism. Elinore certainly never rationalized it this way, but her approach to homesteading and farming was that it could raise women above the poverty and hard labour of the cities: When I read of the hard times among the Denver poor, I feel like urging them every one to get out and file on land. I am very enthusiastic about women homesteading. It really requires less strength and labour to raise plenty to satisfy a large family than it does to go out to wash, with the added satisfaction of knowing that their job will not be lost to them if they care to keep it. Then, in another passage, she says: Any woman who can stand her own company, can see the beauty of the sunset, loves growing things, and is willing to put in as much time and careful labor as she does over the washtub, can certainly succeed. In her discourse one can also see the seeds of the more recent trend of returning to nature and agriculture as a mean to connect mankind to the land. But if the passages I mention sound a bit preachy, the bulk of the letters are a colorful chronicle of the place and people she meets and often befriends. Elinore is poetic at times, describing sunsets and sunrises or early snow, and shows a strength of character to border the insufferable: when no minister or priest was available, she conduct the funeral service for her new-born son. I am so happy these letters were saved and printed. No, they are not highly literary, but they bear witnesses to a whole generation of pioneers and their boldness.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Chrissie

    Right now the Kindle version if free at Amazon.

  9. 4 out of 5

    grllopez

    Definitely love this book. Thank God for pioneer women! My review: https://www.greatbookstudy.com/search... Definitely love this book. Thank God for pioneer women! My review: https://www.greatbookstudy.com/search...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    These letters make for a fascinating narrative and descriptive journal of Mrs. Stewart's life, moving from the city to a Wyoming homestead, marrying and still having the determination to homestead ON HER OWN. She is a very positive, optimistic individual, generous and giving, nearly always seeing the positive in others. Her words and attitude are inspirational. Whether tidbits are fabricated or exaggerated is a bit of topic of debate. However, the general storylines, characters, and situations ar These letters make for a fascinating narrative and descriptive journal of Mrs. Stewart's life, moving from the city to a Wyoming homestead, marrying and still having the determination to homestead ON HER OWN. She is a very positive, optimistic individual, generous and giving, nearly always seeing the positive in others. Her words and attitude are inspirational. Whether tidbits are fabricated or exaggerated is a bit of topic of debate. However, the general storylines, characters, and situations are nonfiction, and it is quite fascinating to see the interrelations of early Western life, homesteading and cattle ranching. Mrs. Stewart always leaves a few choice words regarding her luck and love in life. She sees the beauty in everything: "Everything, even the barrenness, was beautiful" (28). She incorporates some faith (though seemingly nondenominational) into her awe with Wyoming's natural beauty: "when you get among such grandeur you get to feel how little you are and how foolish is human endeavor, except that which reunites us with the mighty force called God" (30). Choice bits of attitude and knowledge: "I am the luckiest woman in finding really lovely people and having really happy experiences. Good things are constantly happening to me" (62). "Those who try know that strength and knowledge come with doing" (282). She is humorous (and loves camping): "fastidiousness about food is a good thing to get rid of when you come West to camp" (166). And she can maintain a wintry mountain scene with pure love and passion, bubbling up your own feelings and sentiments: "I love the flicker of an open fire, the smell of the pines, the pure, sweet air, and I went to sleep thinking how blest I was to be able to enjoy the things I love most" (198). I just recently purchased her other "official" letters collection, Letters From an Elk Hunt, and I'm excited to read it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I first read this just a little over three years ago, and I loved it immediately. I'm happy to report that I love it still. How absolutely delightful it is! I smiled and chuckled and cheered throughout it. Elinore Pruitt Rupert, a widow with a young daughter, took a job keeping house for a man named Clyde Stewart out on the plains of Wyoming in 1909. She wanted to try homesteading for herself, but knew she'd need some way of keeping herself and her daughter until she had her homestead up and runn I first read this just a little over three years ago, and I loved it immediately. I'm happy to report that I love it still. How absolutely delightful it is! I smiled and chuckled and cheered throughout it. Elinore Pruitt Rupert, a widow with a young daughter, took a job keeping house for a man named Clyde Stewart out on the plains of Wyoming in 1909. She wanted to try homesteading for herself, but knew she'd need some way of keeping herself and her daughter until she had her homestead up and running, so hit upon the idea of keeping house for some established rancher or farmer to begin with. But she insisted on doing the work of homesteading on her own to see if a determined woman could make a go of it. And make a go of it, she certainly did. For me, the chief delight of this book is how intrepidly and joyfully this woman faces life. She goes about having adventures, helping people, making the very best of life in every situation. Even though her life certainly isn't easy, and she faces heartache, she does not lose her hope or her joy or her faith. Amazing woman.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Elinor

    My initial review was lost since I first read this book in 2013. I have just finished it again five years later, and enjoyed it even more the second time. What I love about Elinore Pruitt Stewart's letters is how they reveal her indomitable spirit and determination to be cheerful. Although she lost her husband at a young age, and then an infant boy, she never lacked optimism. And she absolutely loved homesteading! "Any woman who can stand her own company, can see the beauty of a sunset, loves gr My initial review was lost since I first read this book in 2013. I have just finished it again five years later, and enjoyed it even more the second time. What I love about Elinore Pruitt Stewart's letters is how they reveal her indomitable spirit and determination to be cheerful. Although she lost her husband at a young age, and then an infant boy, she never lacked optimism. And she absolutely loved homesteading! "Any woman who can stand her own company, can see the beauty of a sunset, loves growing things, and is willing to put in as much time at careful labor as she does over a washtub (she was a former washwoman) will certainly succeed; will have independence, plenty to eat all the time, and a home of her own in the end." Filled with grace and humour, this is a truly uplifting book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    I have not filed on my land yet because the snow is fifteen feet deep on it, and I think I would rather see what I am getting, so will wait until summer. They have just three seasons here, winter and July and August. Primary source history. Genuine letters of a woman who moved from Denver, Colorado to the frontier in western Wyoming in 1909. Not exactly Daniel Boone, but a pioneer in her own right. Tough, smart, caring, and a good communicator. Well, we had no money to hire men to do our work, so I have not filed on my land yet because the snow is fifteen feet deep on it, and I think I would rather see what I am getting, so will wait until summer. They have just three seasons here, winter and July and August. Primary source history. Genuine letters of a woman who moved from Denver, Colorado to the frontier in western Wyoming in 1909. Not exactly Daniel Boone, but a pioneer in her own right. Tough, smart, caring, and a good communicator. Well, we had no money to hire men to do our work, so had to learn to do it ourselves. Consequently I learned to do many things which girls more fortunately situated don’t even know have to be done. Not just literate, but literary. References to Mark Twain, Shakespeare, and Thackeray reveal Stewart as a well-read and broad-minded person, despite her claim to have never finished school. References to fossil hunting for the Smithsonian and women’s suffrage. Organized weddings and funerals on the fly. A woman for all seasons on the prairie. This is how the West was really won. To me, homesteading is the solution of all poverty’s problems, but I realize that temperament has much to do with success in any undertaking, and persons afraid of coyotes and work and loneliness had better let ranching alone. Bonus: This edition included half a dozen illustrations by N. C. Wyeth. Of course I am extra strong, but those who try know that strength and knowledge come with doing. I just love to experiment, to work, and to prove out things, so that ranch life and “roughing it” just suit me.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this series of letters written by a young widow on the Wyoming frontier, sent regularly from 1909 to 1913 to her friend back home in Denver. Since the letters were not originally intended for publication, they are very personal and chatty, and I felt when reading them as if I had stumbled onto a dusty pile of letters from a long-gone great-grandmother and was discovering a piece of forgotten family history for the first time. This is part of the charm of this book; i I thoroughly enjoyed reading this series of letters written by a young widow on the Wyoming frontier, sent regularly from 1909 to 1913 to her friend back home in Denver. Since the letters were not originally intended for publication, they are very personal and chatty, and I felt when reading them as if I had stumbled onto a dusty pile of letters from a long-gone great-grandmother and was discovering a piece of forgotten family history for the first time. This is part of the charm of this book; it is the perfect rainy afternoon read. Among the author's strengths is her ability to describe a scene with such detail and clarity that the reader feels as if she, too, is standing in mountain air so still and clear that the sound of a single axe travels for miles. The solitude of snowfall, the heady scent of pine, the welcome brilliance of sunshine after a storm -- all of this is described in such loving detail that one wants to immediately pack a bag and head West! (And, in fact, I loaned this book to a friend headed west for a Montana vacation last summer. She read it during her flight and said no book could have provided a better segue from her harried work life to her relaxed vacation time under the Big Sky.) Letters of a Woman Homesteader was originally published in 1914 (when, apparently, Elinore Stewart's friend recognized the quality of what she was reading and sold the letters to a magazine that published them in serial form). A century later, these letters -- written by a woman who was simply sharing her personal observations with a friend -- continue to charm and entertain.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alyson

    I had all but the last two chapters of this book read in July. I have several books (five, I believe) in the same state that I just need to wrap up. Since I had already listened to the audio version of this book last year, I felt prepared for book club, even without the last part. I enjoyed my second read of this book as much as the first time. It is really a very delightful book. This book is a compilation of letters written by a woman who homesteads in Wyoming. The stories she tells are deligh I had all but the last two chapters of this book read in July. I have several books (five, I believe) in the same state that I just need to wrap up. Since I had already listened to the audio version of this book last year, I felt prepared for book club, even without the last part. I enjoyed my second read of this book as much as the first time. It is really a very delightful book. This book is a compilation of letters written by a woman who homesteads in Wyoming. The stories she tells are delightful. This book was made extra enjoyable with the addition of book club. We enjoyed a delicious dinner of dutch oven, pies, homemade lemonade and root beer, homemade bread and jams, fresh garden veggies, homemade cheese etc! Mara had done a great job of decorating despite having to move into her garage due to a rain shower. The bonus of the night was having a guest speaker and expert on Elinore Pruitt Stewart. I loved her pictures of the actual homestead and extra bits of info that you don't learn in the book. For instance, how the letters were published by her friend in Denver, one letter at a time before Elinore even knew they were being published. Also, about her early life. What a great night!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    4.5 stars if it were possible. I enjoyed the voice of the MC in this autobiography via letters. She was a single parent and a homesteader. It was 'mighty powerful' to use a term that she used a lot. Her voice felt so authentic. I love reading about the pioneer spirit and she had a double helping. I loved her descriptions of the people and the places. This book was a quick read and it was fun. 4.5 stars if it were possible. I enjoyed the voice of the MC in this autobiography via letters. She was a single parent and a homesteader. It was 'mighty powerful' to use a term that she used a lot. Her voice felt so authentic. I love reading about the pioneer spirit and she had a double helping. I loved her descriptions of the people and the places. This book was a quick read and it was fun.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    A jewel from the end of the book: Those who try know that strength and knowledge come from doing. This was a difficult read - slow in places so I didn't WANT to read it when it was time, if you will. But it was worth while. The work ethic they had to have was overwhelmingly beyond anything we have these days. A jewel from the end of the book: Those who try know that strength and knowledge come from doing. This was a difficult read - slow in places so I didn't WANT to read it when it was time, if you will. But it was worth while. The work ethic they had to have was overwhelmingly beyond anything we have these days.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Becki

    Probably one of my most favorite things to read are the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Aside from getting all atwitter over exact instructions on how to make my own meat smokehouse, I love the parts of the books that focus on the gritty side of life - like having to deal with Nellie Oleson, or the very real possibility of being killed in a freak blizzard, or tornado season. What can I say, I like drama. Letters of a Woman Homesteader reminds me of a more grown-up, dramatic, and shor Probably one of my most favorite things to read are the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Aside from getting all atwitter over exact instructions on how to make my own meat smokehouse, I love the parts of the books that focus on the gritty side of life - like having to deal with Nellie Oleson, or the very real possibility of being killed in a freak blizzard, or tornado season. What can I say, I like drama. Letters of a Woman Homesteader reminds me of a more grown-up, dramatic, and shorter version of the Little House books. This is a non-fiction book that is a collection of letters from Elinore Pruitt Stewart to a former employer. Elinore is a widow with a daughter, and decides to leave the South and go to Wyoming in search of a better life. She is a complete anomaly - she has no husband to care for her, and she actually wants to claim her own land. Gasp! Elinore's writing is at times really funny and snarky. I love her sense of individualism and adventure. At one point, she just strikes out with her young daughter and a few horses, determined to see what the land is like around her. They are hit with a blizzard, and find themselves almost completely snowed in, and lost. This story, like many of the stories in this book, ends with Elinore finding a new and eccentric friend, and all goes well. Of course, there are some really sad events in this book. It's interesting to see what kind of people left for Wyoming - many of them are running from a failed relationship, a family death, or some other tragedy. Although Elinore's daughter Jerrine is well cared for, many of the other children lead sad lives, and of course, some don't survive the rough conditions. It was really surprising to think that these people are basically stranded out in the wilderness, with no telephones, spotty postal service, and hardly any police to think of. Yet somehow, they seem to be living better than most of us! This book also has probably the scariest story about a criminal that I've ever heard of in my life. If nothing else, read it for that. Seriously, it's terrifying! I feel like I have to warn you that there are, sadly, some outdated and offensive racial terms in this book. It's unfortunate, because Elinore is so intelligent and educated, but even she can't escape being a product of her times. It really only occurs once, and I hope you can overlook the nastiness and get on with the book. There is also a very interesting description of going to Utah and visiting with the Mormons there. I suspect some modern day Mormons would object to the descriptions of the misogyny that exists and some other flaws, but I don't know. You can make your own decision after reading. I really highly recommend to this book to anyone who gets a kick out of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books like I do, or even if you like to watch old Westerns on TV. Extremely entertaining and a quick read - what could be better?

  19. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Finished with my latest Kindle book, I wondered what I would read next. I wasn't ready to cough up another $10 for a regular book, but I was tired of reading samples. A regular book was out of the question - I was already in bed, and a two-handed read was just too much to consider. (Wah.) So I came upon this, Letters of a Woman Homesteader, for FREE on Kindle. My expectations were low. Free? A series of letters, written by a woman who never had ANY formal schooling, during the late 1800's to ear Finished with my latest Kindle book, I wondered what I would read next. I wasn't ready to cough up another $10 for a regular book, but I was tired of reading samples. A regular book was out of the question - I was already in bed, and a two-handed read was just too much to consider. (Wah.) So I came upon this, Letters of a Woman Homesteader, for FREE on Kindle. My expectations were low. Free? A series of letters, written by a woman who never had ANY formal schooling, during the late 1800's to early 1900's? While she attempted to homestead by herself? Surprisingly, Ms. Stewart was a wonderful writer! Her letters, although obviously one-sided, were entertaining and interesting. God bless the Kindle, with its word-look up feature: did you know that "grippe" is an antiquated name for the flu? Ms. Stewart might have been the cheeriest, most upbeat, happiest homesteader of her time. She was a widow, who moved to the plains with her young daughter. She first worked for a single man, helping with his household, while starting up her own adjacent homestead. She wanted to work the land and have it filed under her own name - something she encouraged other single women to do, also. The letters are written to her former employer, a woman living in Denver. Even though it was a free book, it also passed my test to be worth (more importantly) my time.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Thom Swennes

    Positive delightful! Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart is a collection of highly readable, interesting, informative, moving and occasionally very humorous letters. She wrote epically long letters to everyone that showed the slightest interest in reading them. It is a shame that she settled on this as a medium of displaying her considerable talent. The letters were written to various recipients during the period 1909-1913 and covered many subjects. The letters were first pu Positive delightful! Letters of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart is a collection of highly readable, interesting, informative, moving and occasionally very humorous letters. She wrote epically long letters to everyone that showed the slightest interest in reading them. It is a shame that she settled on this as a medium of displaying her considerable talent. The letters were written to various recipients during the period 1909-1913 and covered many subjects. The letters were first published in 1914 and apparently caused quite a stir. It is a mystery to me that she didn’t send anything else to a publisher as she seemed to have a natural talent with words. I was really surprised how her life and times so differed from mine; what a difference fifty years makes! She wrote that she had everything that she desired in life and then related what this entailed. A log cabin (two rooms), chickens, couple of pigs, a milk cow and a vegetable garden were roughly the sum of her possessions. Imagine if that was still the dream of everyone! I think the reading of these letters would inform, entertain and humble the reader and highly recommend it!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jennie

    I was quite taken by surprise when I started reading this book. What a little gem! This is typically not my first, second, third... you get the idea... choice in subject matter for books I read. What an adventure! What a life! What a community! Elinore's narrative, through her letters to a former employer, describes a desolate life in a bleak land that even sweet corn won't grow in. Alas, if you sit and wallow in all you don't have it will make your life that much harder. Elinore's powerful opti I was quite taken by surprise when I started reading this book. What a little gem! This is typically not my first, second, third... you get the idea... choice in subject matter for books I read. What an adventure! What a life! What a community! Elinore's narrative, through her letters to a former employer, describes a desolate life in a bleak land that even sweet corn won't grow in. Alas, if you sit and wallow in all you don't have it will make your life that much harder. Elinore's powerful optimism, good attitude, and love of independent hard work allows her (and you) to love the difficult life she has chosen. The characters in her life are larger and more boisterous than what is believable but I think that comes from her willingness to find life, love, and happiness in everyone and everything. Truly a great read, that is full of such open and honest views of how we should all process our world around us.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Deanne Patterson

    This is a nonfiction book consisting of letters written to people detailing Elinore Pruitt Stewart's life. Original publication of this book is 1914. I thought I would enjoy this book because I enjoy reading pioneer stories and historical books are one of my favorite genre to read. Unfortunately the writing style is very simplistic like they may not have had more than a fifth grade education. There were many spelling errors but they were left there since they are her true letters. I am a stickle This is a nonfiction book consisting of letters written to people detailing Elinore Pruitt Stewart's life. Original publication of this book is 1914. I thought I would enjoy this book because I enjoy reading pioneer stories and historical books are one of my favorite genre to read. Unfortunately the writing style is very simplistic like they may not have had more than a fifth grade education. There were many spelling errors but they were left there since they are her true letters. I am a stickler for correct spelling so it was driving me crazy to read this and I was glad to be done with it! Have you ever noticed how long it takes you to read a book you're not enjoying but you zip through one you enjoy? It took me 3 days to read this and it'd not even a long book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Challice

    "It is true, I want a great many things I haven't got, but I don't want them enough to be discontented, and not enjoy the many blessings that are mine." I think this is now one of my favorite books. I loved the history, the grit and determination, the nature and geography, and most of all Elinor's wit and humor. I would somewhat describe her as a homesteader Anne of Green Gables. Her optimistic letters give a picture of true life on the range but still a hopeful view. I loved it and will read it "It is true, I want a great many things I haven't got, but I don't want them enough to be discontented, and not enjoy the many blessings that are mine." I think this is now one of my favorite books. I loved the history, the grit and determination, the nature and geography, and most of all Elinor's wit and humor. I would somewhat describe her as a homesteader Anne of Green Gables. Her optimistic letters give a picture of true life on the range but still a hopeful view. I loved it and will read it again and again. It only took me a day to read/listen. I found myself trying to listen to it at every moment available. A couple things that might be found offensive, the use of N--- as describing Black Americans and the perception of Mormons.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    “I am so glad when I can bring a little of this big, clean, beautiful outdoors into your apartment for you to enjoy. And I can think of nothing that would give me more happiness than to bring the West and its people to others who could not otherwise enjoy them.” These are good, old-fashioned stories, similar to the ones I remember hearing from my Midwestern US relatives. Her letters give us an intimate look into the life of this woman homesteader, as she overcomes challenges with laughter, a posi “I am so glad when I can bring a little of this big, clean, beautiful outdoors into your apartment for you to enjoy. And I can think of nothing that would give me more happiness than to bring the West and its people to others who could not otherwise enjoy them.” These are good, old-fashioned stories, similar to the ones I remember hearing from my Midwestern US relatives. Her letters give us an intimate look into the life of this woman homesteader, as she overcomes challenges with laughter, a positive attitude, and a genuine concern for others that comes across on every page.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I had never heard of this book before, just stumbled across it while looking for volumes of letters to download from Project Gutenberg. I’m so glad I did. Engrossing, well-written, often humorous letters of a widow who decided to start a new life on the Wyoming frontier. If you enjoy reading letters and don’t mind that key bits of the story are revealed gradually, then I recommend this! I’d certainly read it again—her voice is a delight.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne

    I loved it. This is my kind of book. I was transported back in time while reading this book and it was a wonderful trip.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Wealhtheow

    Literally sick from the hard work and poor living conditions in Denver, widowed Elinore took her ~4 year old daughter and settled in the wilds of Wyoming. Although the territory was largely unpeopled and filled with physical hardship, Elinore loved it. She wrote amusing letters filled with anecdotes to her friends back home; this is a collection of some of them. Her descriptions of the beautiful landscapes and odd people she encounters are wonderfully wrought. Altogether, it's rather like a sarc Literally sick from the hard work and poor living conditions in Denver, widowed Elinore took her ~4 year old daughter and settled in the wilds of Wyoming. Although the territory was largely unpeopled and filled with physical hardship, Elinore loved it. She wrote amusing letters filled with anecdotes to her friends back home; this is a collection of some of them. Her descriptions of the beautiful landscapes and odd people she encounters are wonderfully wrought. Altogether, it's rather like a sarcastic, grown-up version of the Little House books. *note: Elinore was a Southerner writing in 1909-1913, and she unapologetically uses the n-word throughout the book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tiana

    I've been a fan of the accounts of homesteaders and pioneers on the Oregon trail since I was a child. Give me a whole chapter on how one makes butter in the winter and I'm happy. Is it time to build a new lean-to? Tell me all about it. Farming potatoes on new land? I'm all ears. So, Letters of a Woman Homesteader was, to me, the perfect collection of stories which follow the true life of Elinore Pruitt Stewart, a woman who took her young daughter to claim some land in Burnt Fork, Wyoming in 1909 I've been a fan of the accounts of homesteaders and pioneers on the Oregon trail since I was a child. Give me a whole chapter on how one makes butter in the winter and I'm happy. Is it time to build a new lean-to? Tell me all about it. Farming potatoes on new land? I'm all ears. So, Letters of a Woman Homesteader was, to me, the perfect collection of stories which follow the true life of Elinore Pruitt Stewart, a woman who took her young daughter to claim some land in Burnt Fork, Wyoming in 1909. The book is told through a series of letters written to her old employer over the years, and Stewart is a beautiful writer; even sitting on the Q train in Brooklyn I would find myself in the barely touched beauty of the land she begins to call home. American homesteading is a tricky subject. I love the era, and can't quite unlove it. I love reading about people building and making things, and because of my obsession with the Little House books as a kid I'm very susceptible to anything involving a calico dress or a covered wagon. But I know that this era of American expansionism displaced many peoples, and it's all types of problematic. It is something to consider when reading this book. Also, this book is written by a southern white woman in 1909, but still her use of the word "nigger" and her concept of black people was a little shocking at first. The first n-bomb came out of nowhere and was part of a ridiculous understanding of the relationship between blacks and whites. It comes up again a few more times- a warning for all who would like to read this. I don't think it spoils the whole book, but honestly that depends on how well you can compartmentalize. I often think of that onion headline, "Woman Takes Short Half-Hour Break From Being Feminist To Enjoy TV Show" and that's sort of how I feel about most of the media I consume.

  29. 4 out of 5

    MaryJo Dawson

    The rewards of poking through biographies and memoirs in the library or used bookstore can have huge rewards. Here is another case in point. Originally published in 1916, these are the letters of a widow with a small daughter who is making a living for them in Denver when she follows the advice of a clergyman and becomes the housekeeper of a Wyoming rancher, with the intent of bettering her situation by becoming a homesteader on her own land. Happily for me and many others, she writes wonderful The rewards of poking through biographies and memoirs in the library or used bookstore can have huge rewards. Here is another case in point. Originally published in 1916, these are the letters of a widow with a small daughter who is making a living for them in Denver when she follows the advice of a clergyman and becomes the housekeeper of a Wyoming rancher, with the intent of bettering her situation by becoming a homesteader on her own land. Happily for me and many others, she writes wonderful letters to a former employer and dear friend back in Colorado, beginning with her move in April, 1909. The lady has what it takes to make it in such a harsh climate, starting from scratch. She is healthy, hard-working, determined, courageous, and has a wonderful sense of humor. She's also a risk taker and marries that rancher only weeks after arriving in Wyoming. Happily that works out well. Over the next 4 1/2 years the letters give us an amazing picture of a lifestyle gone forever, one with incredible hardships but also wonderful rewards. I also fell in love with her daughter Jerrine, with her wonderful imagination and way of looking at life. Someone saw the potential of the letters very early, they were originally published in Atlantic Monthly. The reader has to keep in mind Elinore was a lady of her time, so wise and admirable, but also harboring styles of speech or some prejudices that today would be considered offensive.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Corinne Edwards

    4.5 stars Elinore Pruitt is a spitfire. When she is widowed while still quite young, instead of staying in Denver and working as a washerwoman, she decides to take a job out west in Wyoming and claim a homestead for herself. This book is a collection of her letters to a friend in Denver, a record of her escapades and neighbors, how she works and gives a woman's perspective of the rather isolated living of a homesteader. I loved this. So much. Her voice is so fresh and fun, she's charismatic and so 4.5 stars Elinore Pruitt is a spitfire. When she is widowed while still quite young, instead of staying in Denver and working as a washerwoman, she decides to take a job out west in Wyoming and claim a homestead for herself. This book is a collection of her letters to a friend in Denver, a record of her escapades and neighbors, how she works and gives a woman's perspective of the rather isolated living of a homesteader. I loved this. So much. Her voice is so fresh and fun, she's charismatic and so friendly. I was astonished by how quickly people become companions - how a fireside in the night is shared with strangers, how food becomes common to all and how people you've never met before will invite you into their home to stay for a week because they are so happy to have company. Elinore has a wonderful way with words and I loved watching her learn what she was capable of. The world she describes is pristine and wild, full of cowboys and horse thieves, canyons and buttes, making do and doing without. I love reading stories of strong and capable women living a very real and yet so different life than mine. Sometimes I had a hard time keeping all the names straight but overall, this is a great for anyone who enjoys history and personal narratives.

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