Sarah M. S. Pearsall teaches the history of early America and the Atlantic world at the University of Cambridge. She is the author of the prizewinning Atlantic Families: Lives and Letters in the Eighteenth Century.
Sarah Pearsall's work is stunningly original, riveting, shocking. If anyone still thinks of early modern polygamy as a thread that ran intermittently along the fringes of the Reformation, they have another think coming: African, Native American, Catholic, and, finally, Mormon marital practices upend comforting platitudes about 'traditional' marriage in early America. -Sarah Barringer Gordon, University of Pennsylvania By taking polygamy seriously, Sarah Pearsall illuminates the long, tangled history of marriages across four centuries and many cultures in North America. We see diverse American families in fresh and provocative ways thanks to Pearsall's wide-ranging research and vivid prose. -Alan Taylor, author of American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804 An innovative and thought-provoking book. Sarah Pearsall uses polygamy as a point of entry to the broader world of marriage and the gender roles that attended to it, making a strong argument that such matters were intertwined with the expression of power at all levels in early America. -Christopher Hodson, Brigham Young University Sarah Pearsall shows great intellectual range and a wonderful ability to communicate complex ideas elegantly. -Kathleen Brown, University of Pennsylvania