Sunday, January 20, 2019

Life On Their Own Terms

I was cleaning out the drawer of an end table today when I uncovered a copy of Wild Women: Crusaders, Curmudgeons, and Completely Corsetless Ladies in the Otherwise Virtuous Victorian Era by Autumn Stephens that I must have stashed there several years ago.  I immediately stopped what I was doing to sit down and visit with it again.

The book contains short biographies of 150 noteworthy women that from 1837-1901 who bucked the system in many different ways. Some of the them (like Louisa May Alcott, Nellie Bly, Emily Dickinson, and Carry Nation) were familiar to me. However, I thought the lesser-known females were even more fascinating. Like:
  • Belva Lockwood, one of the first female lawyers in the United States who ran for President on an equal-rights platform
  • Ah Toy, a San Franciscan call girl who appeared in court to sue her clients for failing to "make appropriate payment for services rendered".
  • Annie Taylor, a schoolteacher who survived a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
  • Amelia Bloomer, who gave her name to the divided garments for the lower body that revolutionized women's dress.
  • Sarah and Adelaide Yates, who married Siamese Twins Chang and Eng Butler, and gave birth to 21 children between them
Five years ago today: Offline