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Publisher's Summary

The Powerful, Only Known First-Person Account of One Woman's Struggles and Triumphs Taming the Mississippi Delta

Near the end of her life, Mary Mann Hamilton (1866-c.1936) was encouraged to record her experiences as a female pioneer. The result is the only known firsthand account of a remarkable woman thrust into the center of taming the American South - surviving floods, tornadoes, and fires; facing bears, panthers, and snakes; managing a boardinghouse in Arkansas that was home to an eccentric group of settlers; and running a logging camp in Mississippi that blazed a trail for development in the Mississippi Delta. All this she tackled - and diligently wrote about in secrecy, in a diary that not even her family knew she kept - while caring for her children, several of whom didn't survive the perils of pioneer life. The extreme hard work and tragedy Hamilton faced are eclipsed only by her emotional and physical strength; her unwavering faith in her husband, Frank, a mysterious Englishman; and her tenacious sense of adventure.

An early draft of Trials of the Earth was submitted to a writers' competition sponsored by Little, Brown in 1933. It didn't win, and we almost lost the chance to bring this raw, vivid narrative to listeners. Eighty-three years later, in partnership with Mary Mann Hamilton's descendants, we're proud to share an irreplaceable piece of American history.

Conveyed in frank and expressive prose by a natural-born writer, and withheld for almost a lifetime, Trials of the Earth will resonate with listeners of history and fiction alike - an emotional testament to our ability to endure as well as the story of extraordinary love and the allure of pioneer life.

©2016 Mary Mann Hamilton (P)2016 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"A reminder of how punishing the physical struggle could be, and how unspeakably lonely a woman's life was when men were clearing the land." (New York Times Book Review)
"To read Hamilton's autobiography is to experience an extraordinary life of courage and hardship.... Hamilton, a born storyteller, has written a rich, simple narrative; her personal strength is surpassed only by the strength of her writing abilities." (Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Excellent!

Wow, this lady had stories to tell and sure knew how to tell them! The narration was the best match to story I've heard yet. Sometimes it's hard to tell whom should get the highest credit: the author or the narrator. This was one such example.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Excellent book! The narration is phenomenal!

Excellent book!
So visual, such a strong performance.
The narration is phenomenal! She deserves an award.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Trials of the Earth

Trials of the Earth: The True Story of a Pioneer Woman
: Mary Mann Hamilton


This auto-biography of a woman's life in the late 19th early 20th century. What a wonderful account to pass on for her family, and their generosity in sharing it with the public at large. It isn't a feel good everything was wonderful kind of story. It recounts events that happened, happy, sad, frightening , and many other emotions as well. This woman never had a home of her own, yet turned any place they lived into a home. There are so many "chapters" to her life to comment on. Thank you to the family for sharing!


The narration was well done.The characters were well portrayed, by Barbara Benjamin Creel. I could not stop listening.



"I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator."

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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What a treasure!

To get a glimpse into late 19th century/early 20th c. life, first hand, from someone with such a detailed memory and rich story, truly is a treasure. Ms. Creel does a wonderful job reading. She makes it very easy to listen to. I will miss this book now that it's over!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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This brought me back home! Excellent narration!

Where does Trials of the Earth rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Listening to this book took me back home to where I grew up in Mississippi. The main character portrays the strength and tenacity of a true southern woman. I felt like I was hearing my grandmother speak directly to me. Fantastic, authentic narration!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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What a great story!

An encouraging, heartbreaking and loving family who lived through tough times in the Mississippi Delta.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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New respect for hard work, hard times

I really enjoyed this. So insightful of the hard times of life. pulls at the heart.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Trials of the earth

I absolutely LOVED this book!Barbara Benjamin Creel is fabulous as the narrator.It made me fee like I was sitting at Marys feet listening to her reminisces!Her trials and losses make one feel blessed to live in this age and not hers.I was provided this book free by the author, narrator or publisher.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • RGB
  • SC, USA
  • 04-11-17

Fascinating story. An honest picture of our pioneer families

An unflinching honest memoir of how our country was settled by the incredible hard work of our first frontier families.
You will never take your life for granted after hearing this warm but unsentimental tale of the Hamiltons.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Harsh times

It was a pretty good depiction of the ruddiness of a pioneer life. It comes alive through the story by the gritty voice of the narrator. It became real with hardship without losing the spirit of survival. Its real in content because of good research and good storytelling. Thanks for a good listen

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • williams
  • 08-04-16

Engrossing

Engrossing story of a woman's life in the late 1800s. Well narrated excellent story. Like listening to someone tell their life stories