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Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West by Dorothy Wickenden


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Wickendon's account of Dorothy Woodruff's and Rosamond Underwood's transition from bored society girls in the East to pants-wearing pioneering teachers in rural northwestern Colorado is exhilarating and often hilarious. Pulled primarily from letters exchanged between the women and their families, the text offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of both upper-class families in New York and the rough and challenging existence of struggling frontier families in the West. Dorothy and Rosamond are refreshingly game for whatever challenges comes their way as they begin and end their adventure on the western frontier. ( )
  GennaC | May 9, 2017 |
Oh my goodness what a GREAT story!! These turn of the century, pampered princesses were brave enough to venture into the Colorado wilderness and not only survived the adventure, but flourished! I love stories about strong, determined women and this one definitely filled that bill. Definitely recommend. ( )
  Maureen_McCombs | Aug 19, 2016 |
This book got interesting when the Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamond Underwood decide to accept jobs as teachers in Colorado. Their Grand Tour experiences aren’t really relevant to their Colorado sojourn save in that they used postcards they purchased as teaching aids. I didn’t mind the back stories on Farrington Carpenter, Bob Perry, the Moffatt Road, coal mining and the Harrison family. Commuting to and from the school for both teachers and their pupils was rough in the winter when a trail had to broken through the snow by horse and Dorothy and Roz would awaken to find snow on their blankets. It was a wonder that none of students lost digits to frostbite. Sometimes the families ran short because a lot of things came in by train from Denver to Hayden, Colorado and then it had to be delivered to the various homesteads and the track over the Great Divide was often blocked by snow. I don’t think Butch Cassidy, Elzy Lay, Queen Ann Bassett or her sister were relevant to the story as by 1904 most of the outlaws associated with the Bassetts were dead, imprisoned or had left the country. It was interesting once Dorothy and Roz got to Colorado but it took 79 pages to depart for Colorado. ( )
  lisa.schureman | Mar 20, 2016 |
I listened to the book on CD. At first I wasn't sure I was going to finish it, because I found the reader's timing rather off putting. She put appropriate emotions into the reading, but would pause in odd places and it sounded a bit stilted. There was something about the first part of the book that seemed to be disjointed from the scope of the book. The background of the women is interesting and important to know, but it was somehow not tied in as well as it could have been. Still, a very interesting read, especially knowing that it was true.
( )
  KylaS | Feb 18, 2016 |
Book Club book
  morsch | Jan 24, 2016 |
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Prologue: One weekend afternoon in the fall of 2008, at the back of a drawer in my old wooden desk at home, I came across a folder I had forgotten.
July 27, 1916
A passenger train pulled into the Hayden depot at 10:45 PM with a piercing squeal of brakes, a long whistle, and the banging of steel shoes against couplers.
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The author tells the story of her grandmother Dorothy Woodruff and Dorothy's friend Rosamond Underwood, two society girls in upstate New York, who left home in the summer of 1916 to take jobs as teachers in the tiny Colorado settlement of Elkhead, drawing from their letters home, interviews with descendants, research, and trips to the region to reconstruct their adventures and discuss their lasting influence on their young students and others they met.
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"A captivating book about Dorothy Wickenden's grandmother, who left her affluent East Coast life to "rough it" as a teacher in Colorado in 1916"-- Provided by publisher.

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