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Book details
  • Genre:HISTORY
  • SubGenre:United States / Colonial Period
  • Language:English
  • Pages:210
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098368708

Imagination Prymm of Ipswich

A Year and a Day

by Nancy Rowe Duncan

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Imagination Prymm of Ipswich, a Year and a Day chronicles the final year and day in the life of a 1678 Ipswich, Massachusetts healer and midwife, Goody Imagination Prymm, who finds her life unexpectedly coming full circle through the apprenticeship of a fourteen-year-old girl, Remember Minter. Immersed in herbal lore and medicine, dark dreams and premonitions, a world of nature in opposition to community, Imagination Prymm is ultimately a story of the transformative power of love. Thrown together in an unlikely alignment and living on the edge of a savage wilderness, old age and youth together tackle what it takes to survive in such dark and turbulent times, and in the end discover their depth of love for one another, a love that has been so long deferred.


"Terrible beauty" best describes the world of Imagination Prymm. Set in 1678 Ipswich, Massachusetts, against a dark backdrop of Puritan narrowness and fear, old Imagination Prymm lives on the edge of her woods, a practicing healer and midwife, keeping close to herself and making a simple living. But her quiet world of spinning, making black silk bone lace, and growing herbs for medicine is soon torn by dark accusations of witchcraft from a troubled fourteen-year-old girl, Remember Minter. Questioned by magistrates and forced to defend herself, Goody Prymm is ultimately exonerated, the lying girl sentenced to be her helpmeet through the spring. This proves to be a boon for them both, as their experiences together lead them into a deep and loving relationship, something both desperately need, each drawing strength from the other. Like two candles that gleam most brightly in the darkest of corners, Imagination and Remember find their light in the darkness of the times simply by opening themselves to love.

About the author

Nancy Duncan, after retiring from teaching secondary English for 34 years, decided to practice what she preached by writing her first book Imagination Prymm of Ipswich, A Year and a Day, a culmination of her burning curiosity for early Colonial life. This curiosity took root, she believes, after a visit to Colonial Williamsburg as a child, eventually flowering into a lifelong interest in herbs and their historical and dyeing properties, as well as their folklore. After retiring, she had the time to immerse herself in other Colonial pursuits, as well, such as spinning wool and flax, natural dyeing, Black Work, early sampler embroidery, knitting, and bone lace (bobbin lace), all of which are integral parts of her book. Nancy also has a passion for travel and has visited twenty-two countries, and hopes to do more after the world heals. Her other interests include First Period homes, collecting and studying early antiques, yoga, and reading.

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