Self-Portrait of a 17th-Century Housewife:
The Memoirs of Glückel of Hameln
In 1690, at the age of forty-four, about a year after the death of her husband, Glückel of Hameln began the writing of what is as much a ledger as the “memoirs of her life.”
A book of accounts and prayers. Piety and money are mixed in equal parts. The tone of this book, which is also the diary of a mother and a business woman, cannot be better described than by referring the reader to the letters he might have received, before the war, from a Jewish grandmother in Rumania or Poland. Scandals, births, sicknesses, dowries, quotations from religious texts, well-tried commonplaces, and that cautious and familiar formula which signalizes those who have not the habit of writing: “What more is there to write of this?” or: “What else is there to tell?” The reader will find his way.
About the Author