Mind Amongst the Spindles

Read by MaryAnn

(4.8 stars; 10 reviews)

Lowell Massachusetts was founded in the 1820s as a planned manufacturing center for textiles and is located along the rapids of the Merrimack River, 25 miles northwest of Boston. By the 1850s Lowell had the largest industrial complex in the United States. The textile industry wove cotton produced in the South. In 1860, there were more cotton spindles in Lowell than in all eleven states combined that would form the Confederacy. Mind Amongst the Spindles is a selection of works from the Lowell Offering, a monthly periodical collecting contributed works of poetry and fiction by the female workers of the textile mills. The Lowell Mill Girls, as the workers were known, were young women aged 15-35. The Offering began in 1840 and lasted until 1845. As its popularity grew, workers contributed poems, ballads, essays and fiction. The authors often used their characters to report on conditions and situations in their lives and their works alternated between serious and farcical. (Introduction adapted from Wikipedia by MaryAnn) (8 hr 15 min)


Preface 25:30 Read by MaryAnn
Abbey's Year in Lowell 17:56 Read by MaryAnn
The First Wedding in Salmagundi; "Bless, and curse not"; Ancient Poetry 17:04 Read by MaryAnn
The Spirit of Discontent; The Whortleberry Excursion; The Western Antiquities 21:05 Read by MaryAnn
The Fig Tree 11:01 Read by MaryAnn
The Village Pastors 29:59 Read by MaryAnn
The Sugar-Making Excursion 9:57 Read by MaryAnn
Prejudice Against Labor 20:29 Read by MaryAnn
Joan of Arc 19:54 Read by MaryAnn
Susan Miller 25:46 Read by MaryAnn
Scenes on the Merrimac 18:06 Read by MaryAnn
The First Bells 19:32 Read by MaryAnn
Evening Before Payday 23:42 Read by MaryAnn
The Indian Pledge; The First Dish of Tea 9:34 Read by MaryAnn
Liesure Hours of the Mill Girls 35:09 Read by MaryAnn
The Tomb of Washington; Life among Farmers 25:22 Read by MaryAnn
A Weaver's Reverie; Our Duty to Strangers; Elder Isaac Townsend 14:55 Read by MaryAnn
Harriet Greenough 18:00 Read by MaryAnn
Fancy; The Widow's Son; Witchcraft 20:28 Read by MaryAnn
Cleaning Up; Visits to the Shakers 20:11 Read by MaryAnn
The Lock of Grey Hair; Lament of the little Hunchback; This World is not our Ho… 23:07 Read by MaryAnn
The Village Chronicle; Ambition and Contentment 28:13 Read by MaryAnn
A Conversation on Physiology 40:06 Read by MaryAnn


(5 stars)

Some of these stories are very moving. A good source material to better understand the people of that time and place. I find source materials much more credible than looking to modern “scholars” to interpret history for me.

I hope there are still some...

(0 stars)

unedited writings saved in archives of the mill girls who were "not educated", who told stories to those who could write and those written in the vernacular. And I hope there is something in here about the Lawrence Mill Girls strikes of 1934 and 1936. Charles Dickens pollyana beliefs in top down reform did little for the "operative classes"(working classes). It was bottom up chartist and socialist movements in early 20th century America and Great Britain that forced better conditions for them. FDR nor did Sir William Beveridge in the UK did not have a new deal or create the welfare state because they were sympathetic to workers, they followed the warnings of labour union leaders and the tumult occuring in the US that a revolution would occur if he did not have a new deal, NRA, public jobs programs, higher taxes on the rich, etc and similar programs in the UK,Sir William Beveridge. to save capitalism. As always MaryAnn has a pleasant voice.

Amazing minds and a wonderful peek into history.

(5 stars)