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Virtual Book Club-Nonfiction

  • Date: 07/28/2021 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.  

Read a thought-provoking nonfiction book and then join the discussion online. 

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

In the summer of 1916, Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamond Underwood, close friends from childhood, left Auburn, New York, for the wilds of northwestern Colorado. Bored by their society luncheons, charity work, and the fashionable young men who courted them, they learned that two teaching jobs were available in a remote mountaintop schoolhouse and applied, shocking their families and friends. 

They took the new railroad over the Continental Divide and made their way by spring wagon to the tiny settlement of Elkhead, where they lived with a family of homesteaders. They rode several miles to school each day on horseback, sometimes in blinding blizzards. That year transformed the children, their families, and the undaunted teachers themselves. 

In their buoyant letters home, the two women captured the voices and stories of the pioneer women, the children, and the other memorable people they got to know. Nearly a hundred years later, New Yorker executive editor Dorothy Wickenden, the granddaughter of Dorothy Woodruff, found the letters and began to reconstruct the women's journey. Enhancing the story with interviews with descendants, research about these vanished communities, and trips to the region, Wickenden creates an exhilarating saga about two intrepid young women and the settling up of the West. 

Click here for the book

Click here to join the discussion, or dial 1 (301) 715-8592 and enter Meeting ID 973 2830 3600 when prompted.

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