Much of my research has been done in archives, but here are some books I’ve found useful:
Voyages of Hope: The Saga of the Bride-Ships, 2002, Peter Johnson
This well-researched and very readable book is a comprehensive look at the lives of women of the gold rush and the social conditions and outlooks of the time (about 1860).
The writer presents his stories with warmth and enthusiasm – each time I opened the book I read for longer than I meant to. The writer has a clear understanding of the difficulties and the mores of the time and how they informed the lives of both men and women. He presents his research with humour and with a sure eye for relevant detail.
He characterizes people and places deftly but with kindness and, I suspect, with a twinkle in his eye.
I think perhaps Peter Johnson enjoyed researching and writing this book – I know I enjoyed reading it.