At last available in paperback, the twenty-five essays collected here re-create everyday activities of the Hispanic people of colonial northern New Mexico. What people wore, when they shopped, how they amused themselves these are but a few of the commonplace activities considered here.
In reconstructing the daily routines of domestic life and work habits Simmons captures the precariousness of lives threatened by drought, crop failure, Apache raids, and accidents. Simmons's essays permit us to imagine what people long ago thought and felt, which is a considerable accomplishment. But he doesn't stop there: the final section of this volume offers a glimpse of the historian at work. Entitled "Reading History," these essays introduce three late eighteenth-century documents and provide readers with a primer in understanding economic and social problems of the past.
Marc Simmons is considered New Mexico's historian laureate and has published over forty books on New Mexico history. Simmons is a former Woodrow Wilson Fellow, a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 1993 the King of Spain granted him membership in the knightly Order of Isabela la Cat lica for his contributions to Spanish colonial history. He resides in Cerrillos, New Mexico.