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No Silent WitnessThe Eliot Parsonage Women and Their Unitarian World$
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Cynthia Tucker

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195390209

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195390209.001.0001

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The Voice Coach

The Voice Coach

Chapter:
(p.91) 5 The Voice Coach
Source:
No Silent Witness
Author(s):

Cynthia Grant Tucker (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195390209.003.0005

For Etta's daughter Dorothea Dix Eliot (1871‐1957), who marries her father's associate pastor, Earl Morse Wilbur (1866‐1956), in 1898, a major challenge is teaching her husband to stay in tune with his family's needs and the politics of his profession. Taken first to a small, stingy parish in Meadville, PA, and then to Berkeley, CA, where Earl tries to run a new Pacific Unitarian School for the Ministry—today's Starr King—with almost no budget, Dodie must live with the poverty Etta had only imagined. More protective of her inherited caste because of their insufficiency, she lectures Earl on how to keep low‐paid domestics busy and humble. After struggling with infertility before a daughter is born, her dependency on a lower‐class midwife is further mortification. Later, the tragic death of her college‐age son dislodges her faith, and she dies a confessed agnostic.

Keywords:   Dorothea Dix Eliot (1871‐1957), Earl Morse Wilbur (1866‐1956), Meadville, PA, Pacific Unitarian School for the Ministry, Starr King School, poverty, infertility, midwife, confessed agnostic

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