The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth

by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

The Age of Homespun

In 1851, when theologian Horace Bushnell stood on the village green in Litchfield, CT, and looked back lovingly on the Age of Homespun he was expressing a perennial American nostalgia for the "good old days", when clothing and other necessities were mostly made at home by family labor. Historian Ulrich has not set out to deflate the sentimentality that accompanies Bushnell's vision, but rather to trace its genesis and understand how it has weathered the test of time. Under the tutelage of various museum curators, Ulrich studies the artifacts of a material culture, to understand the people who used them. From 14 artifacts of early American life (baskets, spinning wheels, and especially needlework) Ulrich uncovers details about their makers and users and the communities they built. Each chapter reads like a well-crafted detective story, and will appeal immensely to historical sleuths and us "textilians"!

Hardbound, 165 illustrations, 480 pages

Price: $35.00