The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh
The subtitle of this fascinating book is ‘A Woman in World History.’ Because it is not just a biography of a remarkable but obscure woman but because it paints a portrait of the world during the 18th century as global trade is expanding and countries are becoming rich on the traffic of people as well as commodities.
Linda Colley is a historian of renown, both here and in America, specialising in the people and politics of the 18th century. She has meticulously tracked Elizabeth Marsh’s movements to discover that women could and did travel great distances, could circumvent convention and experience a wealth of situations.
Told in clear and crisp prose, to me, this book was a revelation