Thursday, April 18, 2013

Scribbling Women by Marthe Jocelyn

Do you keep a journal, or a diary? Do you just record your thoughts or adventures? Well your story might just end up in a book like this.

Scribbling Women is a bunch of different true stories that Jocelyn has found over the years. It includes stories from women all over the world, from all different backgrounds. These stories come from diaries, letters, and many other sources. Some stories are happy, sad, exciting, adventurous, and even informational. It is a very informational novel, but really interesting to read.

It is more prevalent to hear stories from a male point of view, especially in history. Hearing how lives were from different women of different races, ages and time periods is more striking than if it was about scribbling men. These women had no idea that their writing would one day be shared with the rest of the world centuries later.

One story in the book is Sei Shonagon's story. He story goes all the way back to the late 900's in Japan where she served Emperor Ichijo's wife. She wrote a book of observations while she served in the palace and this book is known as The Pillow Book. Here are some quotes from Sei's book.

Margaret Catchpole tells her story of being a criminal and being shipped to another country to work. Mary Hayden Russell's story follow her life at sea with her son and her husband who is hunting whales. The book Petticoat Whalers: Whaling Wives at Sea tells Mary's story as well as other women's stories in more detail. Harriet Ann Jacobs' story follows her and how she rebelled against slavery. She was even an educated slave which was illegal. To gain her freedom she hid for seven years in a crawl space so she could have her freedom. All these women and the others that are in the book have very different stories that are influential in their own ways.

I am not very interested in history at all, but this book really drew me in and made we want to learn more about these women and the time periods that they lived during. I can see how this really could get students more interested in history because it does not seem like history while reading it.

This book could be used in English as well as History classrooms. It gives a little extra information about different time periods and even social and cultural issues from these different time periods. English teachers could select certain excerpts from this book to be read along with a another book that correlates with the story. History teachers could also select excerpts to read when learning about a certain social or cultural issue during the time period that is being taught. These stories are meant to be used in the classroom setting and the Scribbling Women mission statement is adamant about teaching "a neglected part of our cultural heritage".


Henry Buckner said...

This book really sounds interesting and I could definitely see myself reading it. You get the opportunity to receive a variety of perspectives and cultures. I like how it is also written by women because too many times, especially in History and English, students only see the events from a male's point of view. The fact that these women didn't even know their writings would appear in publication is even a bigger indication that their stories are genuine. This piece of literature has a message behind it and I would attempt to implement it in my classroom somehow.

Laura Coyotl said...

This book should definitely be read by more people, so they can get a view of how different life for women was back then compared to how it is now. It is even more interesting that different cultures are included in the book, so it gives us a better view of how women of different cultures saw things and see how their lives were during those time periods. I am not a big fan of history myself, but I would want to read this book to know more about the women during those time periods. I agree with you and Henry Buckner, usually we hear stories told from a male perspective, especially in history, so it is great to hear from a woman’s perspectives of how she saw things. By the way good you provided good links.

Jchacon said...

This book sounds like a lot of fun. It's always great to learn about history from first hand accounts. It sounds like a way more interesting way to obtain information on the past than reading it out of a text book.