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

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In the summer of 1916, Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamond Underwood, close friends from childhood and graduates of Smith College, left home in Auburn, New York, for the wilds of northwestern Colorado. Bored by their society luncheons, charity work, and the effete young men who courted them, they learned that two teaching jobs were available in a remote mountaintop schoolhouse a In the summer of 1916, Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamond Underwood, close friends from childhood and graduates of Smith College, left home in Auburn, New York, for the wilds of northwestern Colorado. Bored by their society luncheons, charity work, and the effete young men who courted them, they learned that two teaching jobs were available in a remote mountaintop schoolhouse and applied;shocking their families and friends. "No young lady in our town," Dorothy later commented, "had ever been hired by anybody." They took the new railroad over the Continental Divide and made their way by spring wagon to the tiny settlement of Elkhead, where they lived with a family of homesteaders. They rode several miles to school each day on horseback, sometimes in blinding blizzards. Their students walked or skied on barrel staves, in tattered clothes and shoes tied together with string. The man who had lured them out west was Ferry Carpenter, a witty, idealistic, and occasionally outrageous young lawyer and cattle rancher. He had promised them the adventure of a lifetime and the most modern schoolhouse in Routt County; he hadn't let on that the teachers would be considered dazzling prospective brides for the locals. That year transformed the children, their families, and the undaunted teachers themselves. Dorothy and Rosamond learned how to handle unruly children who had never heard the Pledge of Allegiance and thought Ferry Carpenter was the president of the United States; they adeptly deflected the amorous advances of hopeful cowboys; and they saw one of their closest friends violently kidnapped by two coal miners. Carpenter's marital scheme turned out to be more successful than even he had hoped and had a surprising twist some forty years later. In their buoyant letters home, the two women captured the voices and stories of the pioneer women, the children, and the other memorable people they got to know. Nearly a hundred years later, New Yorker executive editor Dorothy Wickenden, the granddaughter of Dorothy Woodruff, found the letters and began to reconstruct the women's journey. Enhancing the story with interviews with descendants, research about these vanished communities, and trips to the region, Wickenden creates an exhilarating saga about two intrepid young women and the settling up of the West.


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In the summer of 1916, Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamond Underwood, close friends from childhood and graduates of Smith College, left home in Auburn, New York, for the wilds of northwestern Colorado. Bored by their society luncheons, charity work, and the effete young men who courted them, they learned that two teaching jobs were available in a remote mountaintop schoolhouse a In the summer of 1916, Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamond Underwood, close friends from childhood and graduates of Smith College, left home in Auburn, New York, for the wilds of northwestern Colorado. Bored by their society luncheons, charity work, and the effete young men who courted them, they learned that two teaching jobs were available in a remote mountaintop schoolhouse and applied;shocking their families and friends. "No young lady in our town," Dorothy later commented, "had ever been hired by anybody." They took the new railroad over the Continental Divide and made their way by spring wagon to the tiny settlement of Elkhead, where they lived with a family of homesteaders. They rode several miles to school each day on horseback, sometimes in blinding blizzards. Their students walked or skied on barrel staves, in tattered clothes and shoes tied together with string. The man who had lured them out west was Ferry Carpenter, a witty, idealistic, and occasionally outrageous young lawyer and cattle rancher. He had promised them the adventure of a lifetime and the most modern schoolhouse in Routt County; he hadn't let on that the teachers would be considered dazzling prospective brides for the locals. That year transformed the children, their families, and the undaunted teachers themselves. Dorothy and Rosamond learned how to handle unruly children who had never heard the Pledge of Allegiance and thought Ferry Carpenter was the president of the United States; they adeptly deflected the amorous advances of hopeful cowboys; and they saw one of their closest friends violently kidnapped by two coal miners. Carpenter's marital scheme turned out to be more successful than even he had hoped and had a surprising twist some forty years later. In their buoyant letters home, the two women captured the voices and stories of the pioneer women, the children, and the other memorable people they got to know. Nearly a hundred years later, New Yorker executive editor Dorothy Wickenden, the granddaughter of Dorothy Woodruff, found the letters and began to reconstruct the women's journey. Enhancing the story with interviews with descendants, research about these vanished communities, and trips to the region, Wickenden creates an exhilarating saga about two intrepid young women and the settling up of the West.

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

  1. 4 out of 5

    The Library Lady

    Looking at the author blurb I was appalled to find that she teaches a course in "narrative non-fiction" to college students. Has she taken such a course herself? She apparently has a wondrous cache of letter and other materials from her grandmother (Dorothy) and from Ros, but instead of letting them tell the story, she tells it herself and her style is flat and uninspired. The first part of the book is particularly bad--I assume she wants to fill in lots of background before getting to the meat Looking at the author blurb I was appalled to find that she teaches a course in "narrative non-fiction" to college students. Has she taken such a course herself? She apparently has a wondrous cache of letter and other materials from her grandmother (Dorothy) and from Ros, but instead of letting them tell the story, she tells it herself and her style is flat and uninspired. The first part of the book is particularly bad--I assume she wants to fill in lots of background before getting to the meat of her story. But by switching back and forth from little bits of the narrative to the background, she makes things disjointed. There is far too much detail about background issues not really related to the story. Yes, the Mott road was marvelous, but we need a quick explanation, not 3 pages of its history. We really don't need to hear about "Queen Ann", Butch Cassidy's girlfriend, the full history of the coal mines, or a myriad of other subjects. What we need more of is Dorothy and Ros's story. More of Dorothy and Ros's voices. They would have been better served by Wickenden's editing their letters and making a book from that, with short sections of her narrative to explain references and fill in gaps. I wish she'd written that book instead of this one. And perhaps she can use this book as an example to her students of what NOT to do in constructing "narrative non-fiction". Sigh....

  2. 4 out of 5

    Booknblues

    One would think that when an editor of a renown journal decides to write about her grandmother’s year of teaching in Colorado in the early 20th century that she would take the care to make it interesting and exciting, but one would be wrong. Nothing Daunted ; The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West by Dorothy Wickenden is an exceptionally dry tale that jumps all over the place instead of following in a chronological line and goes on diversions which are profoundly uninteresting One would think that when an editor of a renown journal decides to write about her grandmother’s year of teaching in Colorado in the early 20th century that she would take the care to make it interesting and exciting, but one would be wrong. Nothing Daunted ; The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West by Dorothy Wickenden is an exceptionally dry tale that jumps all over the place instead of following in a chronological line and goes on diversions which are profoundly uninteresting. For a relatively short book, it would be expected that the author quickly move to the heart of the tale, but the reader arrives in Colorado with Dorothy and Rosamond at around page 100. The truly frustrating thing about this story is that there is the meat available for a wonderful story. There are amazing incidents, amazing characters as a bear hunting and tracking sister of one of the main characters, the untried teachers working with impoverished pioneer children, and the elements which in northwestern Colorado can be fearsome and were the year these two young women spent there. I sincerely wish that an editor to this book had been diligent enough to call for a rewrite so that the story of Dorothy Wickenden’s grandmother was preserved with the love which it deserved. I cannot recommend this book for more than a dreary read to trudge through much like the snows that pile in Northwestern Colorado.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Akwhepworth

    I loved the tale, but not the telling. The author seemed to include every minute bit of her research into the book, and it would have been so much better with some ruthless editing. Individual paragraphs would have a random sentence inappropriately thrown in, interrupting the narrative. Disorganized! And where were the pictures?! No picture section in the middle of the book, just a single photo at the beginning of each chapter that was frustratingly tiny. The author included plenty of descriptio I loved the tale, but not the telling. The author seemed to include every minute bit of her research into the book, and it would have been so much better with some ruthless editing. Individual paragraphs would have a random sentence inappropriately thrown in, interrupting the narrative. Disorganized! And where were the pictures?! No picture section in the middle of the book, just a single photo at the beginning of each chapter that was frustratingly tiny. The author included plenty of descriptions of pictures in the text-- would it be asking too much to have the actual photo reproduced in the book? That being said, the story itself was amazing. I appreciated the lack of conflict -- not wanting to give anything away, I won't say more than that, but it was really, really refreshing to read a story about good people doing the best they could in unusual circumstances. The epilogue was genuinely touching. I would have loved to know these two ladies.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This book should be renamed "Nothing to Do with Anything: The Unexciting History of Random People in Colorado." This book was absolutely painstaking to get through. The author took what should have been an interesting subject and made it painfully dry. It was also full of so many sidebars that it would be easy to forget what it was *supposed* to be about. If you want to read about the girls teaching in Colorado, skip to at least page 100. If you want to be taken on a journey of their entire live This book should be renamed "Nothing to Do with Anything: The Unexciting History of Random People in Colorado." This book was absolutely painstaking to get through. The author took what should have been an interesting subject and made it painfully dry. It was also full of so many sidebars that it would be easy to forget what it was *supposed* to be about. If you want to read about the girls teaching in Colorado, skip to at least page 100. If you want to be taken on a journey of their entire lives, their family histories, as well as the back story of every person they ever met, lived near, or had any remote connection to; plus an excruciatingly detailed history of every industry to ever exist in Colorado; then by all means, please start on page 1 and subject yourself to this torture. If you are smart, however, you will not waste your time with this at all!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne

    I was disappointed by this book. It is the story of the author's grandmother, who was a society girl who went to western Colorado to teach school in the pre-WWI era. So the back story is an interesting look at "society" and at the West, which is what I was hoping for. However, the telling of the tale falls short. The author uses many, many long quotes from letters, and intersperses background information (about the building of railways in the west, the various characters the two main characters I was disappointed by this book. It is the story of the author's grandmother, who was a society girl who went to western Colorado to teach school in the pre-WWI era. So the back story is an interesting look at "society" and at the West, which is what I was hoping for. However, the telling of the tale falls short. The author uses many, many long quotes from letters, and intersperses background information (about the building of railways in the west, the various characters the two main characters interact with, etc.) at seemingly random places and in what I consider very awkward ways, so much so that on more than one occasion I turned the pages (yes, real paper pages!) back and forth thinking I must have gotten 2 stuck together because the transition was so abrupt. I bought the paperback version, and at the start of each chapter, as well as at the end, are photographs of the places and people in the story. However, the size was so small and the quality was so poor that I found the photos more frustrating than enjoyable. I bought this book in an airport bookstore to prevent boredom on a recent trip. All in all, I wish I spent the $15.00 on something else.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lynne Spreen

    This book is about two wealthy and vivacious young women who, feeling unchallenged by their upper-class prospects in the early 1900s (marry well, have children, support philanthropy - yawn) rebelled by applying for jobs as school teachers in a primitive Colorado frontier town. As a historical work, it was comprehensive but not always compelling. For example, I thought the descriptions of some of the peripheral characters were too detailed. As a memoir, the main characters were a bit one-dimensio This book is about two wealthy and vivacious young women who, feeling unchallenged by their upper-class prospects in the early 1900s (marry well, have children, support philanthropy - yawn) rebelled by applying for jobs as school teachers in a primitive Colorado frontier town. As a historical work, it was comprehensive but not always compelling. For example, I thought the descriptions of some of the peripheral characters were too detailed. As a memoir, the main characters were a bit one-dimensional, they went here and there, seeing and doing this and that, but without any sense of their emotional reactions. That last point is what I found most daunting about this book. I didn't connect emotionally with any of the main characters, although the schoolchildren, esp. Tommy Jones' crying about having received no sweater, were more compelling. I wondered if the girls ever got depressed about their circumstances (waking up in the morning wearing a light dusting of snow)? Did they feel sad about leaving their students after that wonderful year? Were they ever moved by the contrast between their students' poverty as compared to their own affluence? It must be difficult to insert imagined emotion into the characters of historical figures, but since the author imagined other unknowable aspects, I believe it wouldn't have undermined the integrity of the work to have interjected this for the sake of the story. However, if the main mission of the book was to describe the landscape of the era, it succeeded very well in that sense.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Susann

    Returned this to the library weeks ago but am just getting around to my review. Maud Hart Lovelace fans, especially fans of Carney's House Party, will understand when I give this the alternate title of Win and Winkie Head West. It's the true story of Dorothy and Rosamond, two "society girls" from well-to-do Eastern families and graduates of Smith College (no, not Vassar, but close enough). In 1916, they set off on an adventure and accepted teaching jobs at a remote schoolhouse in Colorado. The b Returned this to the library weeks ago but am just getting around to my review. Maud Hart Lovelace fans, especially fans of Carney's House Party, will understand when I give this the alternate title of Win and Winkie Head West. It's the true story of Dorothy and Rosamond, two "society girls" from well-to-do Eastern families and graduates of Smith College (no, not Vassar, but close enough). In 1916, they set off on an adventure and accepted teaching jobs at a remote schoolhouse in Colorado. The book started as a New Yorker article and, if I weren't already very interested in this time period, I would have been just as content with the article. Dorothy and Ros weren't revolutionaries and they had the luxury of knowing they could return to their cushy lives at any time. But I admired their dedication to their teaching, especially considering all that WEATHER, and it was evident that their year-long stint made a definite mark on the community. Maud Hart Lovelace fans will enjoy references to Wagner's operas, lakeside inns, Jane Addams and Hull House, the ivy (not daisy) chain at Smith commencement, European tours, merry widow hats, and mouth-watering picnics.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette (Again)

    This was a labor of love on the part of the author. Her grandmother, Dorothy Woodruff, was one of the two intrepid high society East Coast young ladies who set off for Colorado in 1916 to spend a year teaching in a rural school. A lot of research went into the preparation of this book, and there are certainly some interesting bits of history sprinkled throughout. Unfortunately, it's just one big bundle of digressions, which made it a torture for me to get through. I did finish it, but I cannot r This was a labor of love on the part of the author. Her grandmother, Dorothy Woodruff, was one of the two intrepid high society East Coast young ladies who set off for Colorado in 1916 to spend a year teaching in a rural school. A lot of research went into the preparation of this book, and there are certainly some interesting bits of history sprinkled throughout. Unfortunately, it's just one big bundle of digressions, which made it a torture for me to get through. I did finish it, but I cannot recommend it with enthusiasm. I won't write a long review dwelling on the book's flaws, but the constant digressions are the most frustrating thing about it. Every time you think the story's going to pick up steam and start living up to the title, it veers off onto some new historical path. For example, when Dorothy and Ros are riding the train from Denver up into the mountains, Wickenden takes off on a long boring narrative about the building of the Moffat Tunnel and the railroad they're riding on. I really did like Dorothy and Ros, and I admired their adventuresome spirit and willingness to roll with the punches when they encountered situations so different from their sheltered, affluent upbringing. I think their experiences deserve a more focused and colorful presentation than is given in this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    I could not stop thinking of this book as a screenplay with (obviously) Emma Thompson and Helena Bonham Carter cast as the spunky, educated society girls who head to rural Colorado in the early 1900s to teach school for a year. Living myself 100 years later in rural Colorado about a two hour drive from where they lived, the book had some local interest for me. The ladies seem like absolutely delightful, adventurous people. The book had some issues, however. I couldn't stand the lack of pacing. I I could not stop thinking of this book as a screenplay with (obviously) Emma Thompson and Helena Bonham Carter cast as the spunky, educated society girls who head to rural Colorado in the early 1900s to teach school for a year. Living myself 100 years later in rural Colorado about a two hour drive from where they lived, the book had some local interest for me. The ladies seem like absolutely delightful, adventurous people. The book had some issues, however. I couldn't stand the lack of pacing. It seemed there were a million three-paragraph, well-researched historical asides that bogged down the narrative for me. I admire Wickenden's desire to stick to what really happened over the course of the year as recorded in their correspondence, and that this somewhat limited what she could do since there are so many details lacking. It just felt like too thin of a framework, which she tried to fill in with peripheral stories. The most fascinating bits for me happened in the epilogue, seeing how the two womens' lives played out after their intense western experience. But real evidence of how they touched their students' lives, or the strong romantic vibes that hung over their year, are never convincingly developed.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    I thought I would LOVE this book but the author's organization and writing style were SO distracting, that it actually was really hard to get through. The actual story of these 2 young women was fascinating but it literally took the author over 100 pages to even get them to the remote school that they were going to teach at. There is SO much "historical" background to every single event in their lives that you get lost. For example, the girls finally board a train in Denver to travel the last le I thought I would LOVE this book but the author's organization and writing style were SO distracting, that it actually was really hard to get through. The actual story of these 2 young women was fascinating but it literally took the author over 100 pages to even get them to the remote school that they were going to teach at. There is SO much "historical" background to every single event in their lives that you get lost. For example, the girls finally board a train in Denver to travel the last leg of their journey and from page 89-96 the author diverts onto a history of the railroad system in that part of the country, completely abandoning the story of the girls in favor of a very dry recitation on railway building. The second half of the book is far part than the first half because we finally get to follow the story of the "society" girls teaching in this remote Colorade school without all the diversions and interruptions to the story. I wish the author had just focused on this remarkable story about these 2 fascinating women but just be warned that you will have to do alot of skimming to follow their story and keep the pieces together.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    This is one of those books that has so much potential and falls so flat. A story about two young unmarried women heading out west to teach for a year in the early 1900's should be fascinating and filled with adventure. Unfortunately, the book is written in such a choppy and boring manner that it managed to bore me even during a kidnapping (undeniably the most interesting section of the book). Relatively speaking, the amount of time spent on the actual women's lives in the west is minimal. Much o This is one of those books that has so much potential and falls so flat. A story about two young unmarried women heading out west to teach for a year in the early 1900's should be fascinating and filled with adventure. Unfortunately, the book is written in such a choppy and boring manner that it managed to bore me even during a kidnapping (undeniably the most interesting section of the book). Relatively speaking, the amount of time spent on the actual women's lives in the west is minimal. Much of the story is background and random anecdotes about other minor characters and political speak about the start of coal worker's unions and Woodrow Wilson. I get it - the book was pieced together with scrapbooks and letters written from the women to their families and friends for the year they were out there. It must have been really hard to pull together a cohesive and interesting story. But - and here's the big but - if you can't successfully do so, then don't. I bet this book is incredibly interesting to the author (the niece of one of the women) and her family, but it is not compelling enough (or at all) to the third-party reader. Don't bother.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I usually don't care for nonfiction but love historical fiction. This book got such rave reviews and was on every major list of suggested reading so I thought I'd give it a try. I found the book to be heavy on the name dropping and setting up of the story of how the girls came to teach in the west. I could have done without the whole first half of the book. But finally we got to the part of the story I wanted to read about and it was captivating. Imagine my surprise then when a little more than I usually don't care for nonfiction but love historical fiction. This book got such rave reviews and was on every major list of suggested reading so I thought I'd give it a try. I found the book to be heavy on the name dropping and setting up of the story of how the girls came to teach in the west. I could have done without the whole first half of the book. But finally we got to the part of the story I wanted to read about and it was captivating. Imagine my surprise then when a little more than halfway through the total pages, the story ended. On my Kindle, I was only 66% of the way through and it was over. The rest of the book was acknowledgements and notes. What a rip off! The only part of the book worth reading was about 30 pages long. I was extremely disappointed. Save your money on this one and get it from the library if you really want to try it. I suggest you not waste your time.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    Going out to western Colorado to teach in a two-room schoolhouse in the early days of the previous century must've been a bit like going to Siberia for the Peace Corps. Reading this book made me proud to have been a teacher, though my circumstances were never so tough as these gals experienced (walking to school for a couple of months when my car froze up in Dickinson comes close). At the beginning I thought the author was padding the book with too much extraneous information, like a long disser Going out to western Colorado to teach in a two-room schoolhouse in the early days of the previous century must've been a bit like going to Siberia for the Peace Corps. Reading this book made me proud to have been a teacher, though my circumstances were never so tough as these gals experienced (walking to school for a couple of months when my car froze up in Dickinson comes close). At the beginning I thought the author was padding the book with too much extraneous information, like a long dissertation on Woodrow Wilson or the history of American railroads, but as she progressed she focused more on the details of the lives of Dorothy and Ros. I enjoyed the book, and I think some of you would, too.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Richard

    At the superficial level, this is a very enjoyable story of "Two Society Girls in the West" — specifically, two restless twenty-something women bored with the idea of the future that is expected of them, and drifting through mild adventures (and flirting with dreaded spinsterhood) until this quite astonishing opportunity arises: be schoolteachers (sans any training) at the frontier deep in the Rocky Mountains. It isn't really the frontier — this was more than twenty years after 1893, when the U.S At the superficial level, this is a very enjoyable story of "Two Society Girls in the West" — specifically, two restless twenty-something women bored with the idea of the future that is expected of them, and drifting through mild adventures (and flirting with dreaded spinsterhood) until this quite astonishing opportunity arises: be schoolteachers (sans any training) at the frontier deep in the Rocky Mountains. It isn't really the frontier — this was more than twenty years after 1893, when the U.S. Census Bureau declared that the frontier had been closed ➚. But this was a community far enough off the beaten path that few services were available, and so it feels pretty close to the era Laura Ingalls, even though the nearest train depot, and it's connections to the rest of the world, are less than a day away. The author is the Executive Editor of the New Yorker, and writes wonderfully. True, she writes in the labyrinthian style of the New Yorker's long-form journalism, with its seemingly endless recursive digressions. If you really want a linear narrative, with a constant view of the destination always in sight, then this book (and the New Yorker) probably isn't for you. If you think side trips into subsidiary topics are fine, as long as they are entertaining and at least tangentially relevant to the story, then you'll enjoy the ride. Since our heroines are thrown into the job of teaching, folks in that profession will get an extra kick out of this, sympathizing and identifying with their crises and thrills. But that isn't all there is to this. I'm a little embarrassed for Dorothy Wickenden, since she doesn't appear to realize that she's written a book that reinforces a mythos of America that is untrue as well as ideologically problematic. I was forcefully reminded of this when I happened to read the New Yorker essay (yes, the New Yorker again), Out of Bethlehem: The radicalization of Joan Didion. The second half of that essay relates how Joan Didion became increasingly aware of they mythology of the American Self.This is the legend of the pioneers in covered wagons who trekked across the Rockies and settled the state, the men and women who made the desert bloom—Didion’s ancestors. It’s a story about independence, self-reliance, and loyalty to the group. Growing up, Didion had been taught that for the generations that followed the challenge was to keep those virtues alive.The fly in that balm is that California’s settlement had been heavily subsidized by the U.S. Government, which in this respect is the agent of commerce. Does that sound cynical? Are you aware that Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations” was published the same year as the Declaration of Independence, and that the United States republic suckled the ethos of capitalism from the same teat it acquired an obsession with liberty? The story in this book is more intimate than the grand scale of California, but it is similar. The Arcadian locale of the western slope of the Colorado mountains was inaccessible to development until the U.S. government granted the wishes of those who would become the railroad barons. Yes, it was beneficial to the country, but some had power, and received outsized benefits. From the New Yorker essay: Everyone else was a pawn in the game, living in a fantasy of hardy individualism and cheering on economic growth that benefitted only a few. Social stability was a mirage. It lasted only as long as the going was good for business.This is the way the story ends in Elkhead, Colorado, too. Once the coal turned out to be inadequate to sustain the interest of the capitalists, the place returned to the wilderness it had originally been. The intrepid homesteaders weren’t adequate to keep the community alive without that lifeline. There is a second, lesser meta-narrative as well. The two women represent a class that no longer exists. When I was growing up, there existed a group of people that later became known as the Rockefeller Republicans. Wikipedia defines the term a bit differently than I remember it, so I’ll switch to “benevolent plutocrats”. This was the paternalistic class that saw it as part of their duty — a duty that came with privilege — to try to make the world a better place for those with less. They were often insufferably arrogant, and easily strayed into social Darwinism, but it was that sense of responsibility that those two young women felt when they set off to be schoolteachers. Read the tale, and it is clear they weren’t condescending elitists, but warm and caring people who worked to achieve the idealism that was rooted in a kind of noblesse oblige. Those people appear to be gone. Why? What changed in American culture that gave the wealthy permission to cease caring in this singular way? Nothing Daunted serves as a reminder at how seductive the mythologies of the United States are. The idea of that a person with stalwart discipline can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and become a “self-made man” is embedded deeply in the fantasy that prevents the United States from facing up to the complex creature that it has become. And along with that, it is also an enjoyable tale of youthful adventure.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Numidica

    The story of the Elkhead teachers in 1916 Colorado is as hard to resist as the women are likable. And yes, I know that stories of privileged white people helping the disadvantaged are unfashionable, but perhaps this will make you just a bit nostalgic for the days when the wealthy actually contributed to the common good, whether by teaching, working for civil rights, or by volunteering for military service. Several threads of my interests and personal history came together to make this book compe The story of the Elkhead teachers in 1916 Colorado is as hard to resist as the women are likable. And yes, I know that stories of privileged white people helping the disadvantaged are unfashionable, but perhaps this will make you just a bit nostalgic for the days when the wealthy actually contributed to the common good, whether by teaching, working for civil rights, or by volunteering for military service. Several threads of my interests and personal history came together to make this book compelling and engaging for me. I've read a good deal about the early 1900's, and in particular about Theodore Roosevelt, that advocate of "the strenuous life", of the West, and of public service in the spirit of noblesse oblige, so I knew a great deal of the historical context. Nonetheless, the optimism of that era is still surprising and refreshing in many ways, and the enthusiasm of Dorothy Woodruff and "Roz" is infectious. And they were such good writers! I have always loved good teachers, and it is clear these two young women gave their whole hearts to the task they had chosen. Despite the bias that must inform the story, as it was written by an admiring grand-daughter, it makes one wonder what could be accomplished by the deployment of a few thousand well-educated young college graduates every year to the schools that need them most in the US. Maybe someday we will have a national service program that does something like that at a scale that addresses our needs in education. Some of the criticism I've read of this book is that there are too many digressions, but I thought those were interesting. In any event, I found it to be a page-turner, and not at all boring as some others have said. Again, this may have to do with my having a good understanding of the era; if you don't know who Pancho Villa is, or what TR's Progressive Party was, or anything about Woodrow Wilson, you may be a bit at sea with the offhand references. Or perhaps I just enjoy this anecdotal style of story-telling.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Oh my goodness this took me such a long time to finish. It was interesting while reading, but just didn't have the draw to come back to it like other books do. It was a fascinating true story of two society girls who come out west for a year to teach school, it just was a bit too detailed with other things than the immediate story.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Recently I submitted a query to BookPage-Book Fortune looking for a few suggestions of non-fiction that would leave me breathless. I've had one of the books, Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West by Dorothy Wickenden on my TBR pile since it came out in 2011. I decided it was high time I read it. Eliza knows me almost as well as I know myself. Nothing Daunted was a great pick. Starting from the opening chapter where Wickenden finds a forgotten file folder labe Recently I submitted a query to BookPage-Book Fortune looking for a few suggestions of non-fiction that would leave me breathless. I've had one of the books, Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West by Dorothy Wickenden on my TBR pile since it came out in 2011. I decided it was high time I read it. Eliza knows me almost as well as I know myself. Nothing Daunted was a great pick. Starting from the opening chapter where Wickenden finds a forgotten file folder labeled, "Dorothy Woodruff Letters, Elkhead 1916-17", to the very end, this was a compelling, adventuresome read. Wickenden, the granddaughter of Dorothy Woodruff begins reading the first letter dated Friday, July 28th, 1916. It came on the stationary of the Hayden Inn and exclaimed ""My dearest family: Can you believe that I am actually far out here in Colorado?" How Woodruff and her friend, Rosamund (Ros) Underwood came to be here is the crux of the tale. Two young women of privilege, they were fast friends their whole lives since meeting in Kindergarten 1892. Unusual for the day, they also were both students at Smith College in 1906. After graduating, they had little idea of what job they might pursue, instead initially taking a year grand tour of Europe. As was the norm, it probably was expected that they would marry and as is stated in the book, marry well. And yet, by 1916, neither had found a mate. Enter Ferry Carpenter, a lawyer in Hayden, a small outpost of 400 in Routt County, Colorado. More rancher than lawyer, he decided the small Elkhead, north of Hayden, needed its own school as the children living there had to travel too far, under sometimes horrific weather conditions to get to the school in Hayden. He came up with a scheme to entice young women to teach at this new 1 room school house. Word was put out via his sister Ruth, and an ad was placed in a teachers; magazine describing Elkhead's school as being "a superb school in the virgin hills" and promised good pay. Candidates should send a photo. The latter was part of Carpenter's plan. Young, pretty teachers might marry some of the many bachelors in the region. Dorothy and Ros applied and were hired. That's just the beginning of the adventure for these two. Elkhead was not New York, neither had ever taught, didn't how to cook or sew, but were expected to teach domestic science. They were not used to the harsh winters Colorado would meat out, nor were they used to traveling many miles by horse to get to work. They did not know what supplies or the proper clothing to bring on the journey. Imagine when they found out they needed a rifle to kill sage chickens. And yet they were strong women, with a sense of purpose, and let little get in their way. They made it work. There are wonderful stories here, beautiful descriptive passages of the landscape, history of gold and mining, the building of railways, and enough vicarious adventure for the best of us. Yes, Eliza, got it right. A darned good book, one I'll be recommending to others.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamond Underwood attended grade school and Smith College together. They spent nine months on a grand tour of Europe after college in 1910, and then, bored with society luncheons and chaperoned balls and no current prospects for marriage, they went off to teach the children of homesteaders in a remote schoolhouse on the Western Slope of Colorado. Dorothy is presumably engaged during their 1 year term teaching but not much is mentioned about her future husband, nor do we get Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamond Underwood attended grade school and Smith College together. They spent nine months on a grand tour of Europe after college in 1910, and then, bored with society luncheons and chaperoned balls and no current prospects for marriage, they went off to teach the children of homesteaders in a remote schoolhouse on the Western Slope of Colorado. Dorothy is presumably engaged during their 1 year term teaching but not much is mentioned about her future husband, nor do we get the sense that he is central to her emotional life. I found myself wondering if she was settling for someone her family approved of rather than heartfelt love. The author, Woodruff's granddaughter, Dorothy Wickenden, tells the story of these two individuals who were brought together for nine months in Elkland, Colorado. A portrait emerges of two worlds in 1916--the predictable, comfortable life in the upper-class society of the industrialized East Coast and the remote, hardscrabble life on the western frontier. I enjoy non-fiction and biographies but I would rate this book just o.k. I didn’t have an emotional connection to the two women and felt the depiction was rather dry and flat. The details of their year in Paris did not interest me at all. I found myself wondering what was clearly not mentioned and wanted more from the Colorado story. I do credit the author for including the follow up of what happened to both women after leaving Colorado: marriage, children, and re-connecting in later years.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Susy

    I wanted to love this story which has the intriguing subtitle: The Unexpected Education of Two Scoiety Girls in the West, more than I did. Written by the granddaughter of one of the women, the story is based on her arduous research and collection of letters and interviews with surviving famiy members of the two ladies, but it's such a dry narrative. Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamund Underwood, best friends and recent Smith College graduates, who have done a European tour, lived for a bit in New York I wanted to love this story which has the intriguing subtitle: The Unexpected Education of Two Scoiety Girls in the West, more than I did. Written by the granddaughter of one of the women, the story is based on her arduous research and collection of letters and interviews with surviving famiy members of the two ladies, but it's such a dry narrative. Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamund Underwood, best friends and recent Smith College graduates, who have done a European tour, lived for a bit in New York City, and since they hadn't met their "Mr. Wonderfuls or Mr. So Sos" decided to set out for Elkhead, Colorado to serve as the schoolteachers for the 1916 - 1917 year. One would be responsible for the elementary grades and the other would teach high school. This has all the makings of a great adventure, and they did have some good ones but the story sits on the page rather than flies off it. And when the year was over I was rooting for them to stay but they, in fact, had their futures sorted out by then. Suffice to say, their adventure was over. For history lovers, especially those of you, interested in what women could or could not do in the early 20th century, this is interesting stuff. It's just not a page turner.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Karin

    I expected this book to be about two society girls teaching in the west. The prologue explained that they were practically "old maids" (late 20s) and had spent most of their 20s traveling, etc, and explained how the author had come across her grandmother's (one of the society girls) letters that she had written while out west. The next 75 pages expanded on how the girls spent their 20s. Lots of history and names of people who weren't central to the story or history itself. The next 150 pages detai I expected this book to be about two society girls teaching in the west. The prologue explained that they were practically "old maids" (late 20s) and had spent most of their 20s traveling, etc, and explained how the author had come across her grandmother's (one of the society girls) letters that she had written while out west. The next 75 pages expanded on how the girls spent their 20s. Lots of history and names of people who weren't central to the story or history itself. The next 150 pages detailed their first two months there. I expected to get letters quoted, but the basic formula seemed to be 3 pages of history, a little bit of conjecture, and then half a sentence quoted from a letter. The last 50 pages crammed in the last six months and what happened to them after the year was over. There's a lot of suspense as to whom each girl will marry. Honestly? Yawn. I am a big fan of historical novels and I knew this was non-fiction, but I was expecting more of a memoir and less of a history lesson. From the bits of the letters that were shared, I'm positive this could have been a much better book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    I wanted to like this book, I really did. I have been on the waiting list at the library for months...the plot is my kinda story. Two women leave the comfort of the Northeast for the early 20th century midwest to teach for a year...the non-fiction tale is based on the women's letters home. The story was BORING, disjointed and uninteresting. I feel as though the author felt she had too little information, so there was LOADS of backstory, much of it not related to the women or their experience, and I wanted to like this book, I really did. I have been on the waiting list at the library for months...the plot is my kinda story. Two women leave the comfort of the Northeast for the early 20th century midwest to teach for a year...the non-fiction tale is based on the women's letters home. The story was BORING, disjointed and uninteresting. I feel as though the author felt she had too little information, so there was LOADS of backstory, much of it not related to the women or their experience, and just short disjointed stories that went no where. We learn of a "slow" student, for a few paragraphs, but what happens to him we do not learn. We learn that two men were interested in one of the women (off-handedly we learn one was engaged before she got there) and in a brief telling, learn one "lost". Even non-fiction requires an element of story telling, and I felt this author had no idea how to weave a story (other than the large arc) into the plot. I left feeling saddened, like an opportunity was lost. While I did not really enjoy "Into the Wild", I will need to modify my review because the author told a story, and weaved plot, through her tale.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I was a bit underwhelmed by this book. I do not necessarily fault the author - she worked well with the materials on hand (how lucky that many in the families preserved the letters) - but, in the end, there were only a few pages in the book that actually offered a look at life as schoolteachers in the west. By the time the story actually got interesting, it was over. Still, there are some interesting scenes - the kidnapping of Bob, the story of the Christmas party - but not enough, I fear, for a I was a bit underwhelmed by this book. I do not necessarily fault the author - she worked well with the materials on hand (how lucky that many in the families preserved the letters) - but, in the end, there were only a few pages in the book that actually offered a look at life as schoolteachers in the west. By the time the story actually got interesting, it was over. Still, there are some interesting scenes - the kidnapping of Bob, the story of the Christmas party - but not enough, I fear, for an entire book. I'm sure that the experience was a life-changing event for the girls, but I wanted to know more about how it changed their lives after that point. A little too much backstory, too little middle and end.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Diane Lynn

    Really 1.5 stars Really very little about the two society women actually teaching or living day to day. More about their families, how well connected they were, coal mining, the Moffat Road (railroad), a kidnapping (the ladies didn't even know about it at the time). In short this reads like a bunch of loosely connected short stories. It really is disjointed and not at all what I expected from the title and book blurb.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    2.5 stars. I wasn't sure if I'd finish this book, but I did, probably because the further I got in it, the more time I'd invested in the story and figured I may as well read until the end, as it was short (and I had started skimming). The actual story in this book was interesting, but it wasn't told in a way that commanded my attention, and because of this, the book ultimately failed to compel me in any way. This is the true story of two society women from New York, Dorothy (Dot) and Rosamond (Ro 2.5 stars. I wasn't sure if I'd finish this book, but I did, probably because the further I got in it, the more time I'd invested in the story and figured I may as well read until the end, as it was short (and I had started skimming). The actual story in this book was interesting, but it wasn't told in a way that commanded my attention, and because of this, the book ultimately failed to compel me in any way. This is the true story of two society women from New York, Dorothy (Dot) and Rosamond (Ros), who accept year-long teaching jobs in Colorado in 1916, not fully understanding what they were getting into, as no one they knew had ever lived out west and it was still a pretty unknown area. Once they move out there, they start learning all the differences between how they grew up and the way the children there are being raised. Life is hard, but Dot and Ros find friends, entertainment, and end up believing that the year they spent there was the best year of their life. The author is one of Dot's granddaughters, and she used letters and interviews to recreate this period of time. The underlying story is interesting, with the girls not really knowing what else to do until this opportunity arises, and the spunk that the two must have had to undertake such a huge move and task without really knowing how it'd end. However, may pages are spent describing the history of other people, the history of industries such as coal mining, and what politics were going on at this time. All this was tangibly related to the main story, of course, but since it wasn't the main focus of the book's main story, it detracted attention from that and seemed to instead only act as filler material, which drew me away from the book and made my interest wane. Also, letters Dot and Ros wrote were quoted, but their voices never really shone through, which was disappointing, and action suddenly unfolded without either too much forced buildup (ie, you know at least one will get engaged there), or too little buildup (when one does get engaged, it just suddenly happens and I wondered if I'd missed any description about it - nope). This is definitely not a bad book, and there were some interesting parts to it. Ultimately, however, I felt like the narration didn't do justice to the story it was trying to tell, and I finished the book feeling like I hadn't really learned much. Maybe I just liked the idea of this book more than the book itself.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    Whew! Simply devoured this wonderful book. I originally became interested because, like me, the two amazing women featured were graduates of Smith College. But they attended in a very different time, when the post-graduation choices were extremely limited, even more so for high society ladies of upstate New York. They could get married, work for charities, get married, do "settlement work" (a more intense kind of working for charities), get married, or if they were especially ambitious, become n Whew! Simply devoured this wonderful book. I originally became interested because, like me, the two amazing women featured were graduates of Smith College. But they attended in a very different time, when the post-graduation choices were extremely limited, even more so for high society ladies of upstate New York. They could get married, work for charities, get married, do "settlement work" (a more intense kind of working for charities), get married, or if they were especially ambitious, become nurses or teachers. For Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamund Hillman, these options are just not enough. After loving college, but finding little of interest in the beaus that pursued them at home, and not enough direction to loaf infinitely abroad, they surprised both their families by applying for teaching positions in rural Colorado. As one of them said, no young woman of their acquaintance had ever done any work for money before! So begins what Dorothy and Ros will describe until their deaths as the best years of their lives. People forget that well into the 20th century, when they said rural in the West, they meant really rural. My own grandfather rode horseback to one room school houses well into the 20s and 30s. And finding young women to grow a settlement was almost impossible. So for the tiny homestead community of Elkhead, Colorado, short on both women and teachers, Dorothy and Ros were a godsend. And, like true Smithies, the teachers are nothing daunted by the huge task in front of them. They rolled up their sleeves and got to work, and despite having no real formal teacher training, managed to make themselves the most indispensable and beloved young women in the area. "Nothing Daunted" is more than just Dorothy and Ros' story however. It's the story of this whole area in Colorado. The railroads, the mines, the towns, and the people that grew with that slice of the world from rural isolation to modernity. Many reviewers criticized Wickenden for spending too much time telling the stories of side characters, but I thought that made the book much richer and more satisfying. Not only did we get the story of Wickenden's real life family (She is the granddaughter of Dorothy Woodruff), but we get all of Colorado in its growing splendor to enjoy. I could not put "Nothing Daunted" down!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sally Wessely

    I had a very difficult time rating this book because there were aspects of the book that I really liked, but then, there were aspects that I did not like at all. I have come to believe that it is very difficult to write a narrative based on information gleaned from old letters, newspapers, public records, and oral histories. The story for this book was taken from all of these many resources. That meant that the story held a lot of interesting facts, anecdotes, and historical happenings. These we I had a very difficult time rating this book because there were aspects of the book that I really liked, but then, there were aspects that I did not like at all. I have come to believe that it is very difficult to write a narrative based on information gleaned from old letters, newspapers, public records, and oral histories. The story for this book was taken from all of these many resources. That meant that the story held a lot of interesting facts, anecdotes, and historical happenings. These were not woven together into a great narrative. I loved the story itself. Is it a biography? I guess that we should characterize the book as a biography. That part of the book I love. I found the two school teachers who came to Colorado to teach in a rural school in 1916 fascinating to read about. I loved reading of their adventures. I admired their spunk and determination. I loved learning more about what early Colorado was like just after the turn of the century. My interest in some aspects of Colorado history was ignited. I see a road trip in the future to go see where these ladies lived and taught. I found the notes, bibliography, and acknowledgements interesting too. I certainly thought the author put a lot of research into her project. I greatly admire what she achieved in writing this book. I see the book as a great resource for those who are interested in or love Colorado history. Unfortunately, I also found the book frustrating at times. So many times, I felt as if I were just reading the stringing together of a bunch of notes of research that were woven into some sort of loosely connected and poorly constructed story. I was disappointed at times in the way the author threw information she gleaned into chapters. The personal story was mixed with historical facts in a way that made the entire book hard to follow at times, and boring at others. I think subheadings might have helped to separate the story from the historical facts. I am glad I read this book. I did like it in so many ways. I do wish it had been constructed better.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Um, well...I usually finish a book on principal because I hate quitting anything! It's a matter of pride, I think. But in this case, I was getting ready for vacation, with a bag full of books. I started reading this one last night and just didn't enjoy it--the story never started. I really like reading more entertaining books in the summer and opted to get on with the other ones in my bag instead! This one didn't entertain...it bored me with details that never engaged me and after a decent amoun Um, well...I usually finish a book on principal because I hate quitting anything! It's a matter of pride, I think. But in this case, I was getting ready for vacation, with a bag full of books. I started reading this one last night and just didn't enjoy it--the story never started. I really like reading more entertaining books in the summer and opted to get on with the other ones in my bag instead! This one didn't entertain...it bored me with details that never engaged me and after a decent amount of reading I hadn't yet learned anything of value about the characters. I also didn't really care for the style of writing--the author's use of old journals to tell a story while weaving in very brief original quotes just felt odd and forced, like a beginner's literary analysis paper where the young author learns to incorporate evidence to support their otherwise boring point. I would have preferred to read the actual journals rather than an overly filtered, heavily adjective-d version of the adventures of these two women. Harsh, I know. Maybe I'll try again another time when I'm interested in learning about the time period rather than my current goal: pure entertainment.

  28. 5 out of 5

    John

    A beautifully written and researched book by the executive editor of the New Yorker magazine. The heart of the story occurs in 1916-1917. Dorothy Woodruff (grandmother of the author) and Rosamond Underwood, both single women in their late twenties, spent the year teaching in a one-room schoolhouse in the mountains of western Colorado. Nothing in their previous life experiences--childhoods in wealthy families, college at Smith, a grand tour of Europe--is of much value in their new environment. Ho A beautifully written and researched book by the executive editor of the New Yorker magazine. The heart of the story occurs in 1916-1917. Dorothy Woodruff (grandmother of the author) and Rosamond Underwood, both single women in their late twenties, spent the year teaching in a one-room schoolhouse in the mountains of western Colorado. Nothing in their previous life experiences--childhoods in wealthy families, college at Smith, a grand tour of Europe--is of much value in their new environment. However, their new circumstances reveal their resourcefulness as they adapt to life on the frontier. They grow to love their pupils fiercely. Teachers and students share experiences that influence the remainder of their lives. We love the people we serve whole heartedly--that is the message I will remember from this book. I am not sure that is the message the author wanted to emphasize. The book seems unfocused when it describes scenes from the women's lives that did not occur in 1916-1917. I skimmed those chapters. Consequently, the book only deserves three stars. On the other hand, the protagonists deserve five stars for their examples of pluck, courage and love.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jana

    This is non-fiction - a story about the author's grandmother and grandmother's best friend who, in 1906 after attending Smith college (a considerable accomplishment for women in the early 1900s), ventured out to the still-wild West to teach school in Colorado (because women could be teachers, librarians and nurses for the most part.) They did not teach in Denver, not even the tiny town of Hayden, but in a remote mountain school that served several homesteads within a few miles of the school hous This is non-fiction - a story about the author's grandmother and grandmother's best friend who, in 1906 after attending Smith college (a considerable accomplishment for women in the early 1900s), ventured out to the still-wild West to teach school in Colorado (because women could be teachers, librarians and nurses for the most part.) They did not teach in Denver, not even the tiny town of Hayden, but in a remote mountain school that served several homesteads within a few miles of the school house. While the tale is not as exciting at Erik Larsen's stories, it is more action and adventure than anyone in my family had in their lives in that era. My grandmother wrote an autobiography about her youth - specifically when in 1900 her family moved from a farm house with no electricity, no running water and obviously no indoor plumbing to a house "in town" (the tiny town of Prairie Grove, Arkansas) where they had running water, indoor plumbing and electricity - an amenity her parents feared as they thought the electricity might "spill out of the sockets over night and start a fire." In this book these intrepid women made the long journey by train, horse drawn wagon and finally horse back to the place where they would teach high in the Rockies. They lived with a homesteader in a log cabin which allowed snow to accumulate in their bedroom, braved blizzards to trek the 3 miles to their school in winter and engaged with the local population to whom they were exotic creatures. While not a mesmerizing tale, taken for what it is --- the actual story of someone's grandmother's life --- it is fascinating history. It certainly made me grateful to be part of the present and not alive 100 years ago. It also made me appreciate my grandmother's experience -- she left school in 8th grade, never learned to drive a car (although she lived until 1983 so she had opportunity to do so) and had a lifetime that spanned traveling via horse-drawn wagons to seeing the first man walk on the moon. Some people are adventurous and ahead of their time -- the two women in this story were inspirationally so. Worth the read. I wish we could do half-stars as it is probably a 3.5, not a 4.0, but still worth the time to journey back to life 100+ years ago.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Craig Monson

    Two well-off & well-brought-up Smith grads go to teach school in western Colorado at the end of the Wild West era: a great subject. Dorothy Wickenden was very lucky to find troves of family letters sent home by these “society girls in the west,” which she supplements with a wealth of other, wide-ranging primary source material. She marshals it all into an enlightening, entertaining, and very readable story, enlivened by frequent comments by her protagonists “in their own words.” These offer read Two well-off & well-brought-up Smith grads go to teach school in western Colorado at the end of the Wild West era: a great subject. Dorothy Wickenden was very lucky to find troves of family letters sent home by these “society girls in the west,” which she supplements with a wealth of other, wide-ranging primary source material. She marshals it all into an enlightening, entertaining, and very readable story, enlivened by frequent comments by her protagonists “in their own words.” These offer readers an engaging view of how “the west” was & how it was seen to be through upper-class (but enlightened and somewhat “free-thinking”) eastern eyes in 1916. Some readers (especially those coming from the world of historical fiction) might wish for romances that burned hotter or for more heartwarming, funny classroom details of the “Kids Say the Darndest Things” variety (e.g., something like Tom Sawyer’s lowering a blindfolded cat on a string from the rafters to snatch off the teacher’s toupee). But if such episodes aren’t documented in Wickenden’s sources, they would be out of place in her account. Writing historical NON-fiction has different priorities and limitations than writing historical fiction: the discoverable sources and what they say limit what the author can say. And in this instance, the author has come up with a very winning result. Had she stuck only to what she could glean about the plucky pair from their family letters, it would have made for a much slimmer volume—and also a less enlightening one. She chooses to supplement that central “plot” with a wealth of ancillary background on family members and family history, closely (and less closely) related figures from Colorado history, regional history, the building of railroads. Some of the detail may make the narrative a bit digressive and is bound to frustrate readers whose interests run little deeper than the adventures of two “girls of the golden west.” The narrative offers an arresting picture of the challenges, for homesteaders and eastern visitors alike, of living through a year on Colorado’s wilder western slopes, particularly during the deep snows and frigid temperatures of the long winter. The final narrative, more realistic than romantic, of what happened to teachers, students, homesteaders, potential beaus, both in their near futures and through subsequent generations, makes a very satisfying and interesting conclusion.

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