Monday, June 11, 2012

Death by Petticoat

Death by Petticoat by Mary Miley Theobald
3/5 stars
Andrew McMeel Publishing, LLC, 2012
126 pages
Non-fiction; American History

Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I love the idea for this book-it is right up my alley as a history major who specialized in US history. I love collections of truths and myths that break them down in easy-to-read ways and this looked like the perfect quick read for me.

And it was a quick read. Each entry is only about one page and includes a picture to further illustrate the point. The writing was easy to read and due to the shortness, you can very quickly read this book. I think it would be fun to pick it up and read an entry or two at a time. It looks like a nice book to support The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and its missions of preservation and education.

However I ended up being disappointed on a few counts. First the focus is mostly on colonial times (which is forecast by the collaboration with The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation but which I didn't notice). I thought it would cover a longer period of time and be more mixed. But most of the myths come from colonial times with just a few from later days. Second was the myths themselves, most of which I had never even heard of-two separate mentions of room taxes as a for example. I guess these are questions that tourists ask when visiting Colonial Williamsburg, which makes me very worried for our school system if in fact American-educated people are thinking these things are true. My expectations were that I would have at least heard of the myths even if I knew they were false from my more specialized studying.

Overall: Good for some light reading but not recommended for history scholars.


  1. Hehe. The title is so cute and awesome!! And the book seems great too!! I think I'll give this a go... I'm not anywhere near being a History scholar. :P Great review!! <3

    Riya (The Teen Book Guru)

  2. Although sometimes if something strikes a person's fancy, they might actually look it up... so it may not be a bad thing. However, I do get what you mean. If it is set in a specific time, the author should make it as authentic as possible. Great review!

  3. With you being a history major and all, that's why I always trust your historical recommendations! :) It's too bad that it let you down with the historical aspects, especially since it has such a fun title. But I don't know anything about The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, so I guess that it could throw anything at me and I wouldn't know the difference haha :')

    Amazing honest review as always, B! Hopefully the next historical book blows you away even more! :) <3


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