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The Scarlet Sisters Sex, Suffrage, and Scandal in the Gilded Age by Myra MacPherson
  

The Scarlet Sisters Sex, Suffrage, and Scandal in the Gilded Age

Biography / Autobiography   

RRP £19.99

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Two sisters, Victoria Woodhull and Tennessee Claflin scandalised C19 America with their forward thinking and daring engagement with politics and business. Born into poverty the two sisters became experienced public speakers, they preached free love and votes for women they were tough women who were not afraid to take on the biggest and bravest in the land. Myra MacPherson has given the sisters the biography they deserve, an exploration of their lives and achievements that ensures they won’t sink back into the recesses of Victorian history.

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Synopsis

The Scarlet Sisters Sex, Suffrage, and Scandal in the Gilded Age by Myra MacPherson

Victoria Claflin Woodhull and Tennessee 'Tennie' Claflin were true American originals. These vastly forward-thinking sisters' push for women's fiscal, political, and sexual independence placed them among the most fascinating, flamboyant, and scandalous women of the 19th century. In just a few decades, they achieved a stunning list of firsts: half a century before women could vote, Victoria became the first woman to run for president, choosing former slave Frederick Douglass as her running mate; Tennie ran for congress and shocked the world by becoming the honorary colonel of a black regiment. Together, they opened the first brokerage house run by women, not only surviving 1869's infamous Black Friday, but actually making money, and were bankrolled by legendary tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt amid high gossip that he was Tennie's lover. They were the first female publishers of a radical weekly newspaper, leaders in the Spiritualist movement, and heroines among the liberal wing of Suffragettes for revealing Victorian hypocrisy in their speeches and in Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly. In exposing Henry Ward Beecher's alleged adulterous affair they took on the most famous preacher in America and starred in the 'Trial of the Century' that rivaled the Civil War for media coverage. Telling their story with vivid and engaging detail, award-winning historian Myra MacPherson brings these inspiring and outrageous sisters brilliantly to life, and in doing so deconstructs the manners and mores of Victorian America.

Reviews

Ordinarily, one would look to the fiction of Twain or Dickens to find a nineteenth-century tale to match the real-life saga of the sisters Claflin-Woodhull. Happily, Myra MacPherson has rediscovered these proto-feminists. Their rebellion against Victorian sexual enslavement and the power of white males captivated and infuriated their contemporaries for good reason, and left a mark that resonates today.

Carl Bernstein, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author of A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton, and coauthor of All the President's Men (with Bob Woodward)


About the Author

Myra MacPherson is the author of four previous books, including the Vietnam War classic Long Time Passing and the searing All Governments Lie. She was a highly regarded journalist at the Washington Post for many years, and has also written for the New York Times and numerous magazines, including Vanity Fair. She lives in Palm Desert, California, and Washington, D.C.

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Book Info

Publication date

27th March 2014

Author

Myra MacPherson

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Author's Website

www.myramacpherson.com/

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Publisher

Twelve an imprint of Little, Brown & Company

Format

Hardback
400 pages

Categories

Social & cultural history
History of the Americas
Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900

ISBN

9780446570237

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