Document Type

Book Review


Heart Language: Elsie Singmaster and Her Pennsylvania German Writings

By Susan Colestock Hill. Foreword by Charles H. Glatfelter. Pennsylvania German History and Culture Series. The Pennsylvania German Society. The Pennsylvania State University Press. 2009.

A new century with all its energy and expectations had slipped into place and challenged Americans with fresh promises. The year was 1900. Elsie Singmaster had spent two years at Cornell University immersed in writing classes, and she would return home to Gettysburg eager to write. Her professors had been encouraging. She would always remember one of them who commented on her work for the day by exclaiming, "Who are these queer, unreal people?"

''They're NOT queer!" Elsie retorted. "And they're very real. They are my people living in the traditional ways of their ancestors."

"Then," he urged "write more about them!" [excerpt]