Discover what life was really like
for New England’s colonia
l women.

It’s not about quilting bees
and spinning wheels…


Perhaps women need to be reminded of how far we’ve come in order to see how far we still can go. Discover what life was really like for New England’s colonial women – because we’ve always been curious about: menstruation, sex & birth control, childbirth, sickness & medicine.  For instance, in an era when underwear hadn’t been invented, what did women do when they had their periods? What were early American birth control methods? It was suggested that women try jumping backwards seven times after intercourse to expel sperm, drink water that blacksmiths used to cool metals, or insert a mixture of dried crocodile dung and honey into the vagina.

Velya Jancz-Urban, the “Colonial Goodwife”

In 2011, Velya Jancz-Urban and her family bought a foreclosed farmhouse in Woodbury, Connecticut, unaware of what the house would reveal. Behind the walls, surprises and secrets waited to be exposed.  This became the spark for the novel, Acquiescence. Moving into this 1770 farmhouse ignited Velya’s interest in the colonial era. While researching her novel, she became obsessed (in a good way) with colonial women. In Velya’s entertainingly-informative presentation, The Not-So-Good Life of the Colonial Goodwife, even history buffs will learn a thing or two.

The Not-So-Good Life of the Colonial Goodwife not only makes audience members laugh and grimace – it also honors our foremothers. It’s not about quilting bees and spinning wheels – it’s an interactive presentation about the little-known issues faced by New England’s colonial women.

Springfield Museum

Ms. Jancz-Urban has traveled throughout the east coast presenting to libraries, historical societies, women’s groups, universities, and conferences. She regularly hosts events and book club gatherings at her 1770 Connecticut farmhouse, the primary setting of her novel.



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