Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Dangers of Reading and Writing

Today in American literature (my 11th grade English class, and my favorite), we finished up reading parts of John Winthrop's Journal, the twenty-year record he kept of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Now, I very much respect Winthrop and enjoy examining both the Journal and Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation as examples of Puritan histories, as illustrations of Puritan plain style, and as records of our country's founding. But this entry below never fails to make me laugh (though I didn't find it so amusing when I first read it in college). It was the highlight of today's class.

April 13, 1645

Mr. Hopkins, the governor of Hartford upon Connecticut, came to Boston, and brought his wife with him, (a godly young woman, and of special parts) who was fallen into a sad infirmity, the loss of her understanding and reason, which had been growing upon her divers years, by occasion of her giving herself wholly to reading and writing, and had written many books. Her husband, being very loving and tender of her, was loath to grieve her; but he saw his error when it was too late. For if she had attended her household affairs and such things as belong to women, and not gone out of her way and calling to meddle in such things as are proper for men, whose minds are stronger, etc., she had kept her wits and might have improved them usefully and honorably in the place God had set her. He brought her to Boston, and left her with her brother, one Mr. Yale, a merchant, to try what means might be had here for her. But no help could be had.
Let that be a lesson to you, girls! :-)


Blogger Megan said...

I guess I should be worried then, being the bookish writer that I am... :-)

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Christa said...

So that's what happened to me in grad school. :O)

9:45 AM  
Blogger Beverly said...

That is just plain funny.

11:25 AM  
Blogger PT2 said...

Hey Andrea,

I trust you're doing well. I actually have a question as it relates to our school ministry.

In a moment, I'll ask you a question and then I'll await a response (when you get the chance). I figured that since you are a literature connoisseur, you'd be able to help me understand how to correctly evaluate literature.

So, on to the question - "Have you ever read 'Asher Lev?'" If so, could you give me your thoughts on it?

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Katherine said...

I have to admit Andrea, I didn't laugh at this one. I think it is incredibly sad that this woman was castigated for wanting to do something so God-given, learning.
I guess its the feminist in me.

9:17 AM  

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