By Edith Guerrier
The tale of the existence and several other careers of Edith Guerrier, who embodied the beliefs of the "New ladies" in turn-of-the century the US
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Extra resources for An independent woman: the autobiography of Edith Guerrier
1 The new woman who, like Edith Guerrier, chose to remain single also created a new kind of family unconnected by ties of kinship. 2 With woman's culture as its base, Edith Guerrier's life path intersected many of the most creative attempts to counter the forces of immigration, urbanization, and industrialization that destabilized the existing society. Although she participated in the earnest efforts to Americanize the individuals arriving in the high tide of immigration from eastern Europe, Guerrier wanted to give them more than just survival skills.
Chandler, wrote that Ward 6 (the North End) had more Page xxvi deaths from pneumonia, meningitis, typhoid fever, and diphtheria than any other ward in Boston, and had the second highest number of deaths from cholera infantum and bronchitis (it also led in homicides). Even though many of its worst buildings had been razed on the orders of the Board of Health, under authority granted it by the state legislature in 1897, many of those left were equally unfit. Chandler held that "the personal habits of the tenants are largely responsible for such conditions....
The delivery station was transferred to the North Bennet Street Industrial School and in November 1899 became a regular station of the Boston Public Library with daily book delivery and Edith Guerrier as custodian. Settlement houses and libraries also played another role: They provided opportunities for useful employment, sometimes gainful, sometimes not, to educated, middle-class, single women who were beginning to look for rewarding work outside their homes. Most of these women came from old American families, many from well-to-do families, important because settlement house work was usually unpaid.
An independent woman: the autobiography of Edith Guerrier by Edith Guerrier