Author: Eva Flynn
Publisher: Omega Press
Publish Date: December 12, 2015
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: This is the true story of Victoria Woodhull and the love of her life, James Blood. Adored by the poor, hated by the powerful, forced into hiding during their lifetimes and erased from history after death, the legend of their love lives on.
It’s 1869 and Victoria has a choice to make. She can stay in an abusive marriage and continue to work as a psychic, or she can take the offer of support from handsome Civil War general James Blood and set about to turn society upside down. Victoria chooses revolution.
But revolutions are expensive, and Victoria needs money. James introduces Victoria to one of the wealthiest man in America”"Commodore Vanderbilt. Along with her loose and scandalous sister, Tennessee, Victoria manipulates Vanderbilt and together they conspire to crash the stock market”"and profit from it. Victoria then parlays her fortune into the first female-owned brokerage firm.
When her idol Susan B. Anthony publishes scandalous rumors about Victoria’s past, Victoria enters into a fierce rivalry with Susan to control the women’s movement. James supports Victoria's efforts despite his deep fears that she may lose more than the battle. She might lose part of herself.
Victoria starts her own newspaper, testifies to Congress, and even announces her candidacy for President. But when Victoria adopts James's radical ideas and free love beliefs, she ignites new, bruising, battles with Susan B. Anthony and the powerful Reverend Henry Beecher. These skirmishes turn into an all-out war, with Victoria facing prejudice, prosecution, and imprisonment. Ultimately, Victoria and James face the hardest choice of all: the choice between their country and their love."
My Two Cents:
"The Renegade Queen" is the story of Victoria Woodhull, a suffragist who wanted more than just the vote for women but she wanted women to run for President, which she did herself. Even though, I fancy myself knowledgeable about history, particularly American history, I did not know much about Woodhull at all and for good reason. Some of the other great suffragettes of the time essentially had her erased from history. This is the first of a new series.
Recently I've been obsessed with the musical, "Hamilton." A lot of the musical focuses on who will write Hamilton's story when he's gone so that he's remembered. It reminds the audience that history isn't always pure fact - it can be flavored by those that tell the stories. This sentiment certainly rings true for Woodhull. This woman, who had a huge personality and tried to do so many things with her life, is rarely mentioned in the history books. This book covers from her childhood, which was incredibly sad, through her adult life. It was so fantastic to see how Victoria goes from a unpromising childhood to making waves in American society and politics.
The book is told from the perspective of Victoria, which I really liked. Being able to have a front row seat to all of the different directions that she goes, really pulled me into the story. I was rooting her through the book. It's clear that the author did a lot of research to bring Victoria and the other historical figures to life (Susan B. Anthony! Cornelius Vanderbilt! There are so many more!) in the book. I love historical fiction but I especially love reading histfic that introduces me to new-to-me historical figures!
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