At last, a text on the women of Nauvoo! Finally, an opportunity to read “her-story” alongside the oft-repeated “his-story” of an era filled with growth, prophecies, and covenants. Because few historians have attempted an article on Nauvoo women, the promise of this book evoked a cheer. A well-done, scholarly text that focuses upon the sister Saint from 1839 to 1846 has been a much-sought addition to LDS Church history.
Recalling the Prophet Joseph Smith’s admonition that “every man should keep a daily journal,” I eagerly opened the text to see if the authors had discovered that women had followed his counsel. Unfortunately–judging by this book–comparatively few women of that era (many of whom were literate) seem to have accepted the advice. The men who kept journals recorded very little about women and their lives, experiences, and feelings. To state that the text is simply a rehash of known history about women would be unfair, but to announce abundant new insights without qualification would be to misrepresent it.