Showing posts from March, 2013

Emily Warren Roebling - The Woman Behind the Brooklyn Bridge

"Some people's beauty lies not in the features, but in the varied expression that the countenance will assume under the various emotions. She is...a most entertaining talker, which is a mighty good thing you know, I myself being so stupid." - Washington Roebling on his wife Emily, in a letter to his sister, 1865   I’ve always found the story of Emily Warren Roebling inspiring, because it’s a story of how a woman came into her own and learned what she was capable of through adversity.   It’s also a deeply moving love story. When Washington Roebling was unable to continue hands-on work as chief engineer, his wife Emily worked tirelessly to relay his wishes to the workers, and to keep the vision that father and son had worked long and hard to achieve.   This was during the late 19 th century, when the idea of a woman being able to understand complex mathematics or science, was unheard of.   Many men (and women) believed that women’s brains weren’t developed enough

A Dangerous Woman - The Life of Lady Deborah Moody

I know I have been neglecting this blog shamefully of late.   I apologize profusely.   I’ve been writing and sending out book proposals over the past couple of months, and also continuing my attempts to write fiction.   That has meant that I’ve been writing more book reviews and fewer posts about women.   Since March is women’s history month, I’ve decided to focus on some Noted and Notorious New York Women for your entertainment.   First up is Lady Deborah Moody, who I have long found fascinating, although there isn’t as much information on her as there is about some of her contemporaries such as Anne Hutchinson, Mary Dwyer or Elizabeth Winthrop.   She was the first woman to be granted a land patent in the colonies, founding one of the 6 original towns in Brooklyn, the only woman known to launch a settlement in Colonial America and the first woman to cast a vote in her adopted land.   She fought religious prejudice and braved native tribes at an age when most English women were happi

Swoon: Great Seducers and Why Women Love Them

Title:    Swoon:   Great Seducers and Why Women Love Them Author:   Betsy Prioleau Publisher:   W.W. Norton and Company Pub Date:   February 4, 2012 How Acquired:    Through the publisher for TLC Book Tours What it’s About:     Swoon is a glittering pageant of charismatic ladies’ men from Casanova to Lord Byron to Camus to Ashton Kutcher. It challenges every preconceived idea about great lovers and answers one of history’s most vexing questions: what do women want? Contrary to popular myth and dogma, the men who consistently beguile women belie the familiar stereotypes: satanic rake, alpha stud, slick player, Mr. Nice, or big-money mogul. As Betsy Prioleau, author of Seductress , points out in this surprising, insightful study, legendary ladies’ men are a different, complex species altogether, often without looks or money. They fit no known template and possess a cache of powerful erotic secrets. While these men run the gamut, they radiate joie de vivre, inte

Pain, Parties and Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953

Title:   Pain, Parties and Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953 Author:    Elizabeth Winder Publisher:   Harper Collins Pub Date:   April 16, 2013 How acquired:   Through the Publisher What it’s about:   In May of 1953, a twenty year-old Plath arrived in New York City, the guest editor of Mademoiselle’s annual College Issue. She lived at the Barbizon Hotel, attended the ballet, went to a Yankee game, and danced at the West Side Tennis Club. She was supposed to be having the time of her life. But what would follow was, in Plath’s words, twenty-six days of pain, parties, and work that ultimately changed the course of her life. Thoughtful and illuminating, featuring line drawings and black-and-white photographs, Pain, Parties, Work: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953 offers well-researched insights as it introduces us to Sylvia Plath—before she became one of the greatest and most influential poets of the twentieth century. My thoughts:   Like most teenag