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Bold Spirit: Helga Estby's Forgotten Walk…
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Bold Spirit: Helga Estby's Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America (urspr publ 2003; utgåvan 2005)

av Linda Lawrence Hunt

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
4352142,374 (3.58)20
In 1896, a Norwegian immigrant and mother of eight named Helga Estby was behind on taxes and the mortgage when she learned that a mysterious sponsor would pay $10,000 to a woman who walked across America. Hoping to save her family's farm, Helga and her teenaged daughter Clara, armed with little more than a compass, red-pepper spray, a revolver, and Clara's curling iron, set out on foot from Eastern Washington. Their route would pass through 14 states, but they were not allowed to carry more than five dollars each. As they visited Indian reservations, Western boomtowns, remote ranches and local civic leaders, they confronted snowstorms, hunger, thieves and mountain lions. Their journey to New York challenged contemporary notions of femininity and captured the public imagination--but their trip had such devastating consequences that their achievement was blanketed in silence for nearly a century.--From publisher description.… (mer)
Medlem:lostinavalonOR
Titel:Bold Spirit: Helga Estby's Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America
Författare:Linda Lawrence Hunt
Info:Anchor (2005), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 307 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:*
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Bold Spirit: Helga Estby's Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America av Linda Hunt (2003)

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How can a story of a woman and her daughter walking across the country in 1897 nearly have been lost to history?
Author Linda Lawrence Hunt does an amazing job bringing this story to our awareness. There's heartbreak at almost every turn - not the least of which is that the letters and Helga Estby's autobiography telling of her adventures which would have been so fascinating were destroyed by her family who were ashamed of her for undertaking such an "unfeminine" adventure. The fact that Hunt manages to flesh out the story, including what led up to Helga's decision and the backdrop against which it unfolded, is a credit to her researching skills. ( )
  ErinMa | Feb 22, 2019 |
What an amazing extraordinary accomplishment! To walk over 3500 miles only to fade into historical obscurity. So glad to have been introduced to Helga and her daughter, Clara. ( )
  sraelling | Mar 29, 2018 |
On May 5th 1896 Helga Estby and her daughter, Clara, embark on a cross country journey on foot to raise money for their impoverished family. Everything about this journey is fraught with risk. Consider the facts. First, her home life: Helga has nine children she must leave in the care of her out-of work-husband. As a Norwegian, this is a scandalous decision simply because women do not leave their families for anything. Second, the "scheme": a wealthy yet unknown sponsor with ties to the fashion industry is offering a reward of $10,000 if Helga can walk from Spokane, Washington to New York City in seven months. Helga knows very little about this benefactor and the trip will be extremely dangerous. In addition, although this unknown sponsor wants to prove the physical endurance of women, she has a few rules.

  1. Helga and her daughter may only start out with $5 a piece. All other income must be earned along the way. [They end of selling photographs of themselves and doing odd chores.]

  2. They must visit each state's capital.

  3. They must acquire the signature of prominent politicians

  4. Once arriving in Salt Lake City, must don a "reform costume" otherwise known as a bicycle skirt. This was an effort to display the latest fashion - a dress that was several inches shorter to give women "leg freedom" and was considered quite scandalous.

  5. They could not beg for anything - rides, food, or shelter.

  6. They could not pay for rides.

  7. They had to arrive in New York by early December.


This sets the stage for Hunt's Bold Spirit but what emerges is a story about courage and commitment. Unfortunately, because Helga Estby and her family were so ashamed of her venture when it was all said and done, very little evidence of her walk was properly preserved. Most everything was willfully destroyed. As a result Hunt has to rely on speculation to fill in the gaps. Language like "they were likely", "perhaps", "it is possible", probably", and "they might have" pepper the entire book. ( )
  SeriousGrace | May 10, 2016 |
This biography is exactly the problem with women's history -- it is hidden. And it is hidden very overtly by the family, which makes the entire story very difficult to process. Helga Estby wrote down all her experiences and her daughters burned the papers. How awful for the next generations. This makes Hunt's research very difficult because she had to depend on secondary sources, and this leaves big gaps in the story. Who initiated the 'contest' and the even bigger question is why Helga Estby? Why was this proposed only to her and not open to the general public? We will probably never know the answers if Hunt couldn't ferret them out. Considering what the author had to work with this is an exceptional history of Victorian America and the regional differences that explain the varying degrees of support for women's issues. The book is filled with photographs which are delightful and stunning. Thanks to the second and third generations for saving them.
I could not put this book down and honor her spirit and tenacity. ( )
  book58lover | Mar 26, 2016 |
Wow! I loved this book. Reading about this woman's struggle and adventure in her trip across America in the Victorian period was eye opening for women's issues and for family issues. That her story wasn't told for so long is a fascinating story. It would be a great book club read, except for the fact that it doesn't seem to be available in large print or audio book. ( )
  EllenH | Jan 29, 2015 |
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Bold Spirit is an amazing book about a young pioneer woman (Helga Estby) and her daughter who crossed America by foot in 1896. This journey is amazing on a variety of levels. First, the modern day reader becomes immersed in the struggles that were the everyday life of American pioneers--and this offers us a lesson on the trials lived by many of our ancestors so that we, their descendants, live a life of of greater choice and ease (in comparison).
 

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Hunt, Lindaprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Armitage, SueFörordmedförfattarealla utgåvorbekräftat
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To Thelma Portch and Dorothy, Darrell, Darillyn and Doug Bahr, who became keepers of this family story and to Evelyn Christensen another ordinary woman who lives an extraordinary life.
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Helga Estby, a thrity-six-year-old Norwegian immigrant, woke early on a mid-June morning in 1896 and slipped on her full-length gray Victorian skirt, simple wool jacket, and new leather shoes.
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Wikipedia på engelska (2)

In 1896, a Norwegian immigrant and mother of eight named Helga Estby was behind on taxes and the mortgage when she learned that a mysterious sponsor would pay $10,000 to a woman who walked across America. Hoping to save her family's farm, Helga and her teenaged daughter Clara, armed with little more than a compass, red-pepper spray, a revolver, and Clara's curling iron, set out on foot from Eastern Washington. Their route would pass through 14 states, but they were not allowed to carry more than five dollars each. As they visited Indian reservations, Western boomtowns, remote ranches and local civic leaders, they confronted snowstorms, hunger, thieves and mountain lions. Their journey to New York challenged contemporary notions of femininity and captured the public imagination--but their trip had such devastating consequences that their achievement was blanketed in silence for nearly a century.--From publisher description.

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