I choose a book from Gutenberg related to history called Ruth of Boston: A Story of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The author is James Otis and it was published in 1910.
Although written for children to introduce them to the facts of home life in the colonies, I enjoyed this book very much. It was written from the perspective of a 12 year old girl who came from London to American in 1630.
This was quick read for me. Maybe because it was written for children. Or perhaps because the chapters were so short, it seemed to go faster. Either way, it gave me a glimpses into everyday life for the colonists. I came away with a greater appreciation for their sacrifices and hardships.
Here’s the Foreword:
The purpose of this series of stories is to show the children, and even those who have already taken up the study of history, the home life of the colonists with whom they meet in their books. To this end every effort has been made to avoid anything savoring of romance, and to deal only with facts, so far as that is possible, while describing the daily life of those people who conquered the wilderness whether for conscience sake or for gain.
That the stories may appeal more directly to the children, they are told from the viewpoint of a child, and purport to have been related by a child. Should any criticism be made regarding the seeming neglect to mention important historical facts, the answer would be that these books are not sent out as histories,—-although it is believed that they will awaken a desire to learn more of the building of the nation,—-and only such incidents as would be particularly noted by a child are used.
Surely it is entertaining as well as instructive for young people to read of the toil and privations in the homes of those who came into a new world to build up a country for themselves, and such homely facts are not to be found in the real histories of our land.
If you have colonial ancestors, or you just want to learn more about their lives, download the book, or read it online. The author is right, it covered things I didn’t learn in my history classes.