Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Death by Petticoat by Mary Miley Theobald

There are some things about history that everyone knows, right? People were shorter back then. People were painted hiding their fingers and limbs because painters gave a discount if they didn't have to paint those body parts. Apprenticeships lasted seven years, pregnant women never went outside, there was a nail tax in Colonial America - these are all thoughts that are commonly passed along as fact. This book examines those history myths and separates truth from myth, misconception, and outright falsehood.

This is such a smart idea for a book. Myths and misconceptions abound in many parts of popular culture, and of course there will be those that persist about American history. I loved learning about the truth behind custom, clothing, trades, and American life in a number of different time periods. I was amazed at how many myths are shared between different time periods and different locations worldwide. There are a number of myths here that I hadn't heard before, particularly those that pertain to specific parts of American history, but it was still fascinating to hear how the ideas have come to be a part of common knowledge and what - if any - kernel of truth is found in those myths. I also love the design of the cover. Check out those cool skulls!

Check out Mary Miley Theobald's website for a list of her other publications.

I received an advance review copy from NetGalley courtesy of Andrews McMeel.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
Colonial Williamsburg: The First 75 Years by Mary Miley Theobald
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
Legends, Lies, and Cherished Myths of American History by Richard Shenkman


  1. wow - definitely gonna have to find a copy of this!

  2. For your readers in the Williamsburg area, Mary Miley Theobald will be speaking about her book at the DeWitt Wallace Museum in Colonial Williamsburg on June 7 at 4:30.