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Ladies of the Canyons

A League of Extraordinary Women and Their Adventures in the American Southwest
Narrated by: Jo Anna Perrin
Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
Categories: History, American
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

Ladies of the Canyons is the true story of remarkable women who left the security and comforts of genteel Victorian society and journeyed to the American Southwest in search of a wider view of themselves and their world.

Educated, restless, and inquisitive, Natalie Curtis, Carol Stanley, Alice Klauber, and Mary Cabot Wheelwright were plucky, intrepid women whose lives were transformed in the first decades of the 20th century by the people and the landscape of the American Southwest. Part of an influential circle of women that included Louisa Wade Wetherill, Alice Corbin Henderson, Mabel Dodge Luhan, Mary Austin, and Willa Cather, these ladies imagined and created a new home territory, a new society, and a new identity for themselves and for the women who would follow them.

Their adventures were shared with the likes of Theodore Roosevelt and Robert Henri, Edgar Hewett and Charles Lummis, Chief Tawakwaptiwa of the Hopi, and Hostiin Klah of the Navajo. Their journeys took them to Monument Valley and Rainbow Bridge, into Canyon de Chelly, and across the high mesas of the Hopi, down through the Grand Canyon, and over the red desert of the Four Corners, to the pueblos along the Rio Grande and the villages in the mountains between Santa Fe and Taos.

Although their stories converge in the outback of the American Southwest, the saga of Ladies of the Canyons is also the tale of Boston's Brahmins, the Greenwich Village avant-garde, the birth of American modern art, and Santa Fe's art and literary colony. Ladies of the Canyons is the story of New Women stepping boldly into the New World of inconspicuous success, ambitious failure, and the personal challenges experienced by women and men during the emergence of the Modern Age.

©2015 The Arizona Board of Regents (P)2018 Tantor

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Profile Image for Lynnore
  • Lynnore
  • 07-04-18

Forgotten Women of the Southwest

What made the experience of listening to Ladies of the Canyons the most enjoyable?

At a time when women were relegated to marriage and little else, these women of means left the comforts of wealth behind to pursue their art, passion, and longing for adventure, in the austere and unforgiving wilderness of the American Southwest. Largely forgotten, or ignored, their individual stories, all unique, are brought to life.

Any additional comments?

One caveat is that the book is heavily researched, and the author mainly has a scholarly writing style, but veers randomly from that bent to sudden attempts at a more intimate style which I found confounding. Overall though a well written and well done production and tribute to these female trailblazers.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • CC
  • 23-08-18

Unexpectedly fulfilling.

The intonation of the narration could be livened up a bit. I was raised between New Mexico and the the East Coast so the topic was of natural interest to me. I would recommend it to any one interested in history of the arts.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • L. Nicholson
  • 30-03-18

Stunning Tale of Surprising Women

I want to be sure and note at the start that the narrator made this a difficult listen. She is not incapable or inarticulate - she is STILTED. Oh, how lacking in any intonation she was! It felt almost as though a computer was generating the words. Is this her usual style? Does she try to avoid making nonfiction seem more fictional by not adding anything to the words? I don't know. She had a great voice. But it made this book quite a bit longer to me...that said...

The tale of Natalie Curtis, Carol Stanley, Alice Klauber, and Mary Cabot Wheelwright and their wild excursions and lives in the west was absolutely stunning. There is no way to sum it up. Each life lived to the hilt. Each risking - well, nearly everything - to live the life they desired rather than that dictated to them by family scions and society.

I was referred to this book by the wonderful Ed at Mountain & Prairie podcast when he hosted Jillian Lukiwski. Defniitely worth a listen as she seems to me to be an echo of those ladies of the land. Do give this book a try and absolutely gift it to young ladies who are...unsettled in their lives. You do not know what good it might bring them.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • fortheloveofbooks
  • 04-10-19

Great story, narration does not do it justice

This is a very interesting book, with good stories about fascinating women exhibiting incredible interest, strength and fortitude. The narration was delivered too quickly, without grammatical pauses, inflections in speech, etc so I would recommend you read the book rather than listen to the audio version, if you have the choice.

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  • Mary
  • 12-06-19

Wonderful story but absolute dreadful narration.

I LOVE the story. However, The Narrator speaks in a clipped, brusque voice, racing through the narration with NO feeling, or emotion. It sounds like a professor rapidly reading a thesis on statistics. I am on Chapter 10 and can listen no longer. Going to return it. Buy the book.

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  • Tish
  • 03-06-19

Women’s History of the Southwestern USA

This book came to me highly recommended. I enjoyed the history since I was raised in Sa Diego and I have lived even longer in Santa Fe county, New Mexico. I recognized names & places and learned of others. These were some amazing adventurous women. We hear so much more about men like Kit Carson that it was great to hear about so many female movers and shakers. They are surely turning over in their graves if they could see the Santa Fe and San Diego of today.

The performance of the reading was more mediocre. The pronunciation of some names and places were off —e.g. Lamy (where the train station for Santa Fe is should be pronounced Lay-Me) and the name Vigil (is pronounced Vee-Hill). She did okay on some other Spanish words.

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  • Pamela
  • 31-05-18

Listening - not an option for me

The content of the book was fantastic. However, I couldn't listen to it. The narration was choppy, the rhythm of reading distracting and it just detracted in every way from the book itself. This is one book I will definitely purchase and read but it will have to be a physical book.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful