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Notorious Victoria: The Life of Victoria Woodhull, Uncensored Hardcover – January 28, 1998
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Journalist Mary Gabriel hews more closely to the particulars of Victoria Woodhull's life than Barbara Goldsmith does in Other Powers, but in its more focused way her traditional biography is just as revelatory of larger issues in American society. Gabriel prompts new respect for the feminist who was so scandalous that she was erased from traditional feminist history. Woodhull was an intrepid go-getter who rose from a wooden shack in Ohio to a manor house in England, pausing along the way to become America's first female stockbroker (in 1870) and the first woman to run for president (in 1872).
From School Library Journal
YA?A fine biography of a little-known 19th-century suffragette. Woodhull's achievements read like fiction, especially considering her times. Born into poverty in 1837 to a family largely unconcerned with nuances of the law, she showed great promise early on. Taking advantage of the contemporary enchantment with spiritualism, she and her sister worked as clairvoyants while teenagers. Married at age 15 to an alcoholic and soon the mother of a retarded child, she worked on the stage until summoned home by her sister. The pair traveled as spiritual healers for several years until guided to New York by Victoria's second husband, James Blood, a progressive idealist who encouraged his wife's interest in women's rights. In New York she and her sister procured a patron, millionaire Cornelius Vanderbilt, and established a brokerage firm and a newspaper to voice their liberal views. Both succeeded, testifying to Woodhull's capability, credibility, and vision. She ran for President of the U.S and espoused the fledgling Communist cause. She was a promoter of free love, to the horror of the nation. When it was revealed that she lived with her husband, ex-husband, and lover at the same time, she was widely reviled, financially ruined, jailed on trumped-up charges, and hounded out of the country. Young adults will enjoy her story, and marvel at 19th-century morals. A highly readable addition to biography and women's rights shelves.?Catherine Noonan, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Though her claims of having inspired visions are mocked by people now, I believe that Ms Woodhull actually did have clairvoyant skills as she claimed to have. For those who believe in the Art of Palmistry she had received unprecedented praise for having extraordinary markings on her hand from Cheiro who remains one of the greatest seers of all time. Cheiro had also read hands of people like Mark Twain, President Cleveland, Thomas Edison etc
Mostly I enjoyed this book because I liked seeing Victoria overcome every obstacle & maintaining her focus on woman's rights. I think it's easy to forget what a radical notion that was not so long ago.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I particularly appreciated the balanced handling of the controversial figure, Victoria Woodhull and her sister, Tennessee Celeste Claflin.Read more