Sunday, June 26, 2011

Book Review: One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus

One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May DoddOne Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Publisher's Summary

One Thousand White Women is the story of May Dodd and a colorful assembly of pioneer women who, under the auspices of the U.S. government, travel to the Western prairies in 1875 to intermarry among the Cheyenne Indians.

The covert and controversial "Brides for Indians" program, launched by the administration of Ulysses S. Grant, is intended to help assimilate the Indians into the white man's world.

Toward that end, May and her friends embark upon the adventure of their lifetimes.

Author Jim Fergus has so vividly depicted the American West that it is as if these diaries are a capsule in time.

©1998 Jim Fergus; (P)2006 BBC Audiobooks America

What the Critics Say

"Fergus lets his imagination go wild and creates a journal of one of his ancestors who became one of those brides in 1875. Laura Hicks renders this imaginative work splendidly. She is vivacious and expressive as May Dodd." (Audiofile)

My Thoughts

I stumbled onto this one in I read the above and listed to a snippet. I knew I had to know this story as it was a bit of history I knew nothing about.

The narrator was a grand voice for Mary Dodd.

What heroic women these were to agree to the plan and travel so far to meet and marry Indians for two years. When you think about the time and the articles in newspapers about the 'red man', how, why would they even consider such an adventure?

I not only learned about the women but also about life in one Cheyenne village.

This is indeed a book I would recommend to anyone else who doesn't know the history behind it, who wonder about some of the roles of women in the west, and life of a group of Indians of the plains! I think this would be a good book  for teachers and home schoolers to recommend to  students or school book clubs.

Even my husband found it intriguing.

Book Review: Captive Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine by Alison Weir

Captive Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine | [Alison Weir]The Captive Queen by Alison Weir
Narrated by Rosalyn Landor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book dove tailed nicely as the first book I read about Eleanor of Aquitaine as it was of her early life up to her meeting with the man who would be her second husband (Henry, Duke of Normandy, King of England).

Publisher's Summary

Renowned for her highly acclaimed and best-selling British histories, Alison Weir has in recent years made a major impact on the fiction scene with her novels about Queen Elizabeth and Lady Jane Grey. In this latest offering, she imagines the world of Eleanor of Aquitaine, the beautiful 12th-century woman who was queen of France until she abandoned her royal husband for the younger man who would become king of England.

In a relationship based on lust and a mutual desire for great power, Henry II and Eleanor took over the English throne in 1154, thus beginning one of the most influential reigns and tumultuous royal marriages in all of history. In this novel, Weir uses her extensive knowledge to paint a most vivid portrait of this fascinating woman.

My thoughts

As the oldest of only two girls, her father raised her to be able to rule after her he died. Thus she was not only a great beauty but intelligent and well educated but a desirable mate for most men of rank. One look between Eleanor and Henry and they were in lust. A bit more and they were in a love match that while contentious lasted for most of the rest of their lives in one form or another. Read the book for the expansion of the story.

I listened to this one from using my monthly credits.