Weathering the Storm Essay - Critical Essays

Elizabeth Evans


Evans’ collection of diaries and journals of women who lived and wrote during the revolutionary war era presents a different side of the story than is usually told in textbooks and traditional histories. These personal annals record such mundane details as cures for illnesses, flirtatious conversations, and religious doubts along with the more traditionally “historical” events. The book includes a wealth of information about childbirth, medicine, Native Americans, and household life during the American Revolution, thus providing a richly detailed context for the military and political events young people usually learn in history textbooks. These primary sources provide a vivid glimpse into the American past and into the range of forces and events which shaped the American character. This window into the everyday life of the American revolutionary period enables readers even without prior knowledge of the living habits of the past to make connections between their own daily existence and that of another time, to imagine the lives of particular individuals preoccupied with the chores of everyday life while being swept along by momentous forces of change.

Weathering the Storm is a classic example of feminist revisionist history. Evans makes her feminist sympathies clear in the introductory chapter, in which she describes the attitudes toward women during the revolutionary period as intolerable and claims that, judging by the intelligence of their...

(The entire section is 603 words.)