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FC 83 – Rebecca Dickinson with Marla R. Miller

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Marla R. Miller, author of the book Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Woman.

Bio – Marla R. Miller

Marla R. Miller, a historian of early American women and work, has made a career uncovering the lives of women who left little in the way of documentary record. She is a professor of Marla Miller on Fieldstone Commonhistory at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and directs the Public History program there. She has won the Organization of American Historians’ Lerner-Scott Prize for the best dissertation on women’s history and the 1997 Walter Muir Whitehill Prize in Colonial History.

This is Marla’s second visit to Fieldstone Common. She appeared on the July 4th, 2013 episode to talk about her other book, Betsy Ross and the Making of America.

Book Summary

Rebecca Dickinson’s powerful voice, captured through excerpts from the pages of her journal, allows colonial and revolutionary-era New England to come alive. Dickinson’s life illustrates the dilemmas faced by many Americans in the decades before, during, and after the American Revolution, as well as the paradoxes presented by an unmarried woman who earned her own living and made her own way in the small town where she was born. Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Woman, uses Dickinson’s world as a lens to introduce readers to the everyday experience of living in the colonial era and the social, cultural, and economic challenges faced in the transformative decades surrounding the American Revolution.

Publication InfoRebecca Dickinson with Marla Miller on Fieldstone Common

Title: Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Woman

Publisher: Westview Press (2014)

Trade Paperback; 194 pages with a list or primary sources, end notes, bibliographic essay and an index.

Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Woman is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

Marla and I talk about the diary that acted as the background for Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Woman. Rebecca lived through American Revolution to see the birth of the United States. She remained unmarried and supported herself independently as a gown maker. Though she had several proposals of marriage she rejected them. Her life was a careful balance of conscious independence and loneliness.

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winner

One copy of Rebecca Dickinson: Independence for a New England Womanwas given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Westview Press.

The winner is:

  • Debra Cravens of Wisconsin

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Westview Press for their generosity in donating the book!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

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News & Announcements

BIG NEWS for Android users! Fieldstone Common is now available in the Android app Stitcher. Stitcher is a program like iTunes but is available on the Android platform. Download Stitcher and search for Fieldstone Common or click here.

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 83)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 83 is the number of the episode.


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