This group biography follows three generations of ministers' daughters and wives in a famed American Unitarian family. Cynthia Tucker examines the Eliots, their religious tradition, and the Eliot women's largely neglected female vocation. Spanning 150 years from the early 19th century forward, the narrative is shaped into a series of stories. Each of six chapters takes up a different woman's experience, from the deaths of numerous children and the anguish of infertility to the suffocation of small parish life with its chronic loneliness, doubt, and resentment.

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