I just read a good book called A Lady of Lunenburg: Nova Scotia 1752 by Laurel Pardy. It is subtitled "The cauldron that shaped a nation and tempered a woman's spirit". Elisabeth Baltzer is a wife to Stoffel, a butcher, of good middle-class standing. She is also a respected healer and midwife, and mother of several children. She is quite a lady. It's her idea to go to Nova Scotia when she find a handbill that had blown free from the wall where it was posted; while she and her husband are fine for the moment, her husband's uncle owns the property where they live, and his new wife is soon having a baby, which will force them out, since Stoffel will no longer be the only heir. Nova Scotia seems a good place to go.
The story of how Elisabeth endures and keeps her family safe from disease and harm, makes their home, plants their crops, all against the background of intrigue with England, France and the Indians swirling around them makes for a fascinating tale. It's a great book! Elisabeth is a real woman, an ancestor of Laurel Pardy's, which makes it even better.
Another book I'm reading which is equally fascinating is Prehistoric Textiles: The Development of Cloth in the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, with Special Reference to the Aegean by E. J. W. Barber. I started it a while ago, but got sidetracked by other things; now I'm back to reading about ten pages a day, but it is hard to stick to only ten pages a day. This book is filled with detail! The author is not only an expert in historical details; she is also a weaver. This book is filled with fascinating insight. I read through the sections about domestication of fibers, both plant and animal; spinning; and looms and weaving. Now I am reading about the various textile weaves, from the beginnings, through Egypt, the Bronze age and Mesopotamia. I still have a ways to go, and there is felting and dyes to talk about, and then my dears, then there is the best part of the book: discussion! I cannot wait to see what conclusions she reaches. This woman is simply amazing. She also wrote the books The Mummies of Urumchi and Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years Woomen, Cloth,and Society in Early Times, both of which I have read and loved. She has a way of stating very complicated things without getting too bogged down in their complex natures -- or maybe it's her natural enthusiasm that just picks you up and you run along beside her. I don't know... but I love her writing and her books. I think she is fabulous.