Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich (b. 1938) is a professor of history at Harvard University, where she was appointed the 300th Anniversary University Professor. She is author and editor of a half-dozen books, including Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650–1759 (1982), The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth (2001), and Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History (2007) from which the following essay was taken. Ulrich introduced the phrase "well-behaved women seldom make history" in a 1976 journal article titled "Vertuous Women Found: New England Ministerial Literature, 1668–1735," about how women were characterized in Puritan funeral sermons. Much to Ulrich's surprise, the phrase generated an explosion of cultural interest and now appears on greeting cards, T-shirts, bumper stickers, mugs, and plaques, among other places.