Daily Life in Colonial New England
2nd Edition
by Claudia Durst Johnson
April 2017, 370pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5465-1
$70, £54, 61€, A96
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5466-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

While life in Colonial New England is often imagined to have been dominated by the tiresome concerns of pious clergymen and church-goers, the reality was far more diverse—and interesting.

This book presents a unique perspective on life in Colonial England, exposing many misconceptions and depicting how elements of its culture that are typically regarded as marginal—such as the activities of pirates—actually had an extensive impact of the populace.

The daily lives of most colonial New Englanders were much more colorful and exotic than the drab, pious picture many of us have in mind. Daily Life in Colonial New England exposes as myth much of what we might believe about this era and reveals surprising truths—for example, that sex was openly discussed in Colonial times and was regarded as a welcome necessity of married life, and that women had more legal and marital rights than they did in the 19th century.

The book describes topics such as the legal and sexual rights of women, the extent of infant mortality; the lives of underclass citizens who formed the majority in New England, such as indentured servants, African slaves, debtors, and criminals; and the integral role that pirates played in business and employment during the Colonial period. Readers will gain deeper insight into what life during this period was like through accounts of the real terror of being one of the accused in witch hunts and the sympathy that the general population had for dissidents who were questioned and arrested by the government. Primary materials that range from legal documents to sermons, letters, and diaries are used as sources that verify historical ideas and events.


  • Provides readers with an understanding of the nature of religious sentiment in Colonial America, which was characterized by a desire to have religious freedom for themselves but not for others
  • Depicts the constant rebellion and subsequent cruelty inherent to colonial society
  • Examines the majority underclass populations, such as indentured servants, Native Americans, and African Americans
  • Addresses myths about Puritan women, marriage, sex, and child raising
Claudia Durst Johnson is a retired professor who currently works as a writer and editor. She is the author of 10 books, including The Productive Tension of Hawthorne's Art; American Actress: Perspective on the Nineteenth Century, which won a Choice Award; and To Kill a Mockingbird: Threatening Boundaries. For a decade, she edited and wrote nine books for Greenwood's Literature in Context series.

Daily Life

What was life really like for ordinary people in other cultures throughout history? How did they raise their children? What did they do for fun? From sexual mores in ancient Egypt to resistance music in modern Latin America, and from the fashion sense of the Mongols to the importance of film in modern India, the world comes alive in the indispensable hands-on volumes of this award-winning series. A truly interdisciplinary resource, the Daily Life series covers arts; religion; food; literature; language; romance; rites of passage and coming of age; marriage customs; social and government structure; sickness and cures; warfare; sports and games; holidays; festivals; and more. Supported by the most current research, these authoritative volumes provide an in-depth exploration of daily life throughout history.

Each volume provides:
• An exploration of complex eras in history on a level accessible to students and general readers
• Authoritative coverage stemming from the most current scholarship and recent discoveries
• A focus on social rather than political history in key curricular areas, providing an in-depth understanding of the nuts and bolts of daily life
• Interactive, exciting details such as recipes, sheet music, rules for games, song lyrics, and more
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.