Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West

Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West

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In 1916, two restless society girls from Auburn, New York headed out to the Rockies in North-western Colorado to teach in a new schoolhouse. Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamond Underwood went to grade school and Smith College together, spent eight months on a grand tour of Europe in 1910 and, bored with formal luncheons and chaperoned balls, not yet ready for marriage, they answered an ad for schoolteachers. They travelled by train to Denver, and then rode horses for three days up to the remote school where their students, the children of homesteaders, came to school in rags and bare feet.

Nearly 100 years later, Dorothy Wickenden came across the extraordinarily detailed letters these two women wrote to their families from Elkhead - about their teaching, the friends they made, the idiosyncratic characters they met, and their adventures throughout the county. Central to their narrative is Ferry Carpenter, the shrewd, witty, and occasionally outrageous young lawyer and cattle rancher who hired them, in part as attractive and cultivated brides for the locals. Drawing on the two stashes of letters, on interviews with Carpenter's son and with the children of the students at the school, and on visits to Elkhead herself, Wickenden creates an intimate, quirky story about two intrepid women who took off on an adventure that transformed their lives.

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Book details

  • Hardcover
  • 286 pages
  • English
  • 1439176590
  • 9781439176597

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