Originally presented as the author's thesis under the title: Women growing old in the new Republic.
pt. I. Identity through connection -- "Take care that she performs"; The old age of wives, widows, and spinsters -- The ties that bind: Mothers and adult children -- "That bad Jane is like a piece of myself": Grandmotherhood in the new republic -- pt. II. The self turns inward -- "Surely it is winter with me": Defining the metaphors of old age -- Perservering the in "decline of life": Living the metaphors of old age -- Old age and death: The feminine search for meaning -- Conclusion: A pattern of continuity and a vision of change.