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Tomboy Bride: A Woman's Personal Account of Life in Mining Camps of the West
     

Tomboy Bride: A Woman's Personal Account of Life in Mining Camps of the West

by Harriet Fish Backus
 

Harriet Backus writes about her life as an assayer's wife and true pioneer of the West with heart-felt emotion and vivid detail. Sharing her amusing and often challenging experiences as a new bride in the high San Juan Mountains where the Tomboy Mine operated above Telluride, Colorado, she paints a poignant picture of the people, and the life centered around

Overview


Harriet Backus writes about her life as an assayer's wife and true pioneer of the West with heart-felt emotion and vivid detail. Sharing her amusing and often challenging experiences as a new bride in the high San Juan Mountains where the Tomboy Mine operated above Telluride, Colorado, she paints a poignant picture of the people, and the life centered around silver mining where most of the book takes place. It is a skillfully written account from a women's perspective in a rough and tumble mining town that has made this book a classic for women's studies.  Harriet's life followed her husband George's career which took them many places beyond the San Juan Mountains including the rugged coast of British Columbia, and the mountainous mining town of Elk City, Idaho and back to Colorado's Leadville. Although both Hattie and George were from the San Francisco bay area where they eventually retired, her heart never quite left the rugged mountain trails of the high San Juans of Colorado.
 

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"...Charming book...entertaining and informative."  ---The New Mexican

"...an interesting book that records the hardships, tragedies and triumphs of a young woman in the colorful era of the mining boom."  Annals of Wyoming

This book was a really fascinating look into the life of a woman living as the wife of a mine engineer in some of the most remote areas of the US around 1910. This book is not a drama, there's no flowery descriptions of emotional solitude or deep looks into the human soul. It is simply a first person account of what Mrs. Backus did to ensure her family's health and survival.

The best part of the book is that she is as much a product of her times as we all are. 1910 was far past the gold rush years of the 1860s, so the mines were more established and, in her view, higher tech. Her views on women's duties, race identity, class roles, parenting and world politics are all in the subtext. It feels like a real glimpse into the diary of a woman living an interesting life in interesting times. 

Kate, Goodreads, June 2, 2009

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780871089885
Publisher:
Pruett Publishing Company
Publication date:
09/03/2013
Series:
Pruett Series
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 5.70(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author


Harriet Fish grew up in the San Francisco bay area, and taught school until the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 closed the schools. She then worked for the Telegraph Company for two years. Her sweetheart of high school days, George Backus, a graduate of the University of California School of Mines, found work as an assayer in Telluride, Colorado. Against her family’s wishes, she traveled to Denver since her fiancee could not return to California for the wedding. Hattie, as she was called remained happily at her husband's side his entire life although she was fearlessly independent and strong on her own. While George was introverted and competent, Hattie Fish Backus overshadowed him as an extroverted, smart, controlling, opinionated and very devoted wife. She wrote Tomboy Bride in the early 1940s, but it was repeatedly rejected by publishers. Being independent and ahead of her time, she self-published the book. In 1977, Pruett Publishing of Boulder, Colorado took over publication, and over 75,000 copies of the book have been sold since that time.

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