A Midwife's Tale

A Midwife's Tale

DVD - 2005
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Tells the story of two women, 200 years apart, linked together by the massive yet cryptic diary one of them left behind. The life and world of Martha Ballard, a frontier midwife in Maine, is reconstructed through her diary. She lived through the economic boom and bust, and political and social turmoil of the decades following the American Revolution.
Published: [Alexandria, Va.] : PBS Home Video, [©2005]
Edition: Full screen version.
ISBN: 9780793691203
Branch Call Number: DVD 618.2023 MID
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (ca. 88 min.) :,sd., col. ;,4 3/4 in.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add Notices
May 17, 2019

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Frontiersmen attack an unwanted surveyor laying claim to their lands and legalizing others' claims.

May 17, 2019

Sexual Content: Minor mention of courting rituals and premarital pregnancy.

May 17, 2019

Violence: Violence against women.


Add a Comment
May 17, 2019

Giving this an extra star because it reveals a rare female lens on early American history. It has a slow, awkward start as the researcher explains her methodology and painstaking re-creation of this brave, hardworking midwife's life journey. A daily commute by canoe on her way to deliver babies is nothing for her in the wilds of Maine, returning home to a family that is wracked by children's early deaths but also consoled by a tight-knit family and community.

Apr 22, 2015

IMO one of the best documentaries ever brought to film of the 1750 to 1812 New England frontier life. Previously seen on PBS 1998, now viewed 2015 with 'new' eyes on the life of people struggling to survive a daily grind. Surprising realization that family dynamics may not have changed that much with respect to attitudes, community, treatment of aged & the sheer brutality to get through one day. This is a journal of one woman, told with little emotion, just her activities over a 70 year span, her service to others & the disappointment of children, church & laws of the time, which she observes without judgment.

I think this belongs in American history classes youth should see.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at DBRL

To Top