Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Virginians at Home

Virginians at Home: Family Life in the Eighteenth Century (Williamsburg, VA: Colonial Williamsburg, 1952) is a sprightly little book by Edmund S. Morgan, reflecting fine scholarship without the scholarly technicalities. Morgan reconstructs the pattern of colonial family life, discussing growing up, getting married, servants and slaves, and houses and holidays. Though his survey of the times is brief, his treatment is satisfying, not the least because Morgan truly appreciates the fact that these people "enjoyed living." The families of Virginia were far from perfect, as Morgan clearly shows, yet they built and inhabited a genuine society, the likes of which we can only dream of today. Virginians at Home invites us to critically admire the wisdom of family life in the eighteenth century.

[Want to learn more about Colonial Williamsburg? Check out their attractive website here.]

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