Category Archives: Books

Amelia Bloomer: a book review, a song on video, and more by Tara Bloyd

You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer, by Shana Corey; Chelsey McLaren ill.  Scholastic Press, 2000.

by Tara Bloyd

Aimed at young children, this short picture book presents the story of Amelia Bloomer and her eponymous outfit in a simple, direct fashion.  The illustrations are bright and compelling, and are set off by a generous amount of white space.  The book contrasts Amelia Bloomer with the “proper ladies” who surrounded her – women who were not supposed to work or vote, and who wore dresses that required 20-30 yards of fabric just for the skirt.  The fact that Amelia didn’t invent bloomers – something that many people do not know – is clearly stated and is important.  As editor of the woman’s newspaper The Lily, Amelia’s championing of the short skirt and baggy pantaloons to replace cumbersome, socially-approved dresses was crucial to their popularization, and the book shows how both men and women reacted to the new clothing option.

I found the Author’s Note at the end of the book the most compelling part; it provides additional information about Amelia Bloomer’s life and times that couldn’t really be discussed within the parameters of a book for young children.  As an introduction to the issues facing women in the 19th century, though, the book is a good addition to suffrage-related libraries.

SuffBookShelf

The life and writings of Amelia Bloomer are available as a free ebook. Subscribe to Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

American apple pie wasn’t sacred to Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Photo by Sage Ross

Photo by Sage Ross

Suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton wasn’t afraid to tackle any subject and make a few enemies along the way. Her position on American apple pie is one example. The Brits had pie right, Stanton said. They didn’t use a bottom crust, for it would inevitably become soggy. Her views on the subject were laid out in a collection of her writings:

“Mr. Gurney’s dig at our pie referred to the soggy undercrust so many of our American cooks persist in making. The English never have an undercrust to their pies, one of the few respects, it seems to me, in which English cooking, which is generally atrocious, is superior to our own, which also belongs in many respects to the atrocious order. The English put the fruit in a deep dish and simply spread a nice light crust over it. If there be women, or men either for the matter of that, in the United States who know how to make a crisp undercrust and bake it to the well-done point, let them produce the perfect American pie. But if they cannot accomplish this difficult feat, let us have done with our national raw, soaked undercrust of dough, which is why du=yspepsia has attacked one-half of our men, who will eat pie whether it is good, bad or indifferent.

“Though these lines were written in 1840, they still hold good to-day. Pie is still with us, and so is the abominable undercrust. All travelers can testify to
seeing some son of Adam at every railway station in America running for the cars with a great piece of pie in his hand, which to withstand such wear and tear must have an undercrust as tough as sole leather. Yet the prospective presidents of this great republic all eat it, and will to the end of time.”

From Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s writings, a free ebook online.

Did you stop by for Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s virtual birthday party in November? It’s not too late. LINK. Stay in touch with suffrage news, views, and stories about the suffrage movement by reading Suffrage Wagon News Channel.

Surprise the suffrage buff in your life this holiday season!

GUEST BLOGGER Ken Florey describes the background of writing his book in a special column for Suffrage Wagon News Channel. See his special blog posting.

Women’s Suffrage Memorabilia: An Illustrated Historical Study by Kenneth Florey will be published by McFarland Press in April/May of 2013. Order now and give as a holiday gift. This gift idea doesn’t have instant gratification, but it has substance guaranteed to last throughout the year.Women’s Suffrage Memorabilia: An Illustrated Historical Study, consists of a discussion of over 70 different types of memorabilia produced by activists to promote the cause, including postcards, buttons, ribbons, sashes, sheet music, china, and toys and games. The book relies on numerous period references to discuss the importance of memorabilia to the movement, and includes fascinating stories about individual objects. With over 215 photographs, many in color, this work is intended for suffrage buffs, as well as collectors and historians.

Book highlights include stories, in particular the suffrage prisoner who was accused of “biting” her warden when the official tried to rip off her blouse and was stuck by a suffrage pin. There’s the tale of the anti-suffragist who wrote to the Times, complaining that suffrage workers were essentially soliciting sex by having “pretty young girls” sell suffrage pencils on the street.  And among others, the Wall Street broker who hawked colorful suffrage pins on the sidewalk much like stocks to the delight of the crowds surrounding him. AND MORE. See Ken’s article on the writing of his book, a special feature of SWNC.

Women’s Suffrage Memorabilia: An Illustrated Historical Study can be ordered in advance through the publisher, as well as Amazon. Check out Ken’s web site.

Gift ideas from the National Women’s History Project. Do you have holiday gift ideas for suffrage buffs? Send them to us. 

Visit suffragewagon.org

“Your vote is magic,” Hurricane Sandy, and book reviews for young audiences

NEW FEATURE: Tara Bloyd’s suffrage book reviews for young audiences, a new column for Suffrage Wagon News Channel. Read Tara’s first review!

NEWS FLASH: Hurricane Sandy support. The Times Union of Albany NY ran a story questioning how Susan B. Anthony would vote in this 2012 presidential election? LINK  PDF Our long-time friend Teri Gay (whose comments can be found on this site in “Votes for Women Salon”) was interviewed for the Times Union article.

LAST MINUTE VOTING INFORMATION: Find out where you should go to vote, what will be on your ballot and the issues at stake (Vote411.org). For last minute questions, contact the National Voter Empowerment hotline at 866-698-6831. Make sure you have the right ID to vote (VoterID.me) and know your congressional district (My2012District.com).

“You Don’t Own Me,” a last-minute video appeal to women voters that has gone viral relative to issues affecting women.

SUFFRAGE BOOK SHELF HIGHLIGHTS: Kindle review blog highlights Suffrage Wagon News Channel.  Video (BELOW) and new book, “Your Vote is Magic,” a public affairs campaign by Lyn Dillies, one of the few women master illusionists.

Book on ballot bandits. National award for work on suffrage movement and the power of rhetoric. Five books for young readers recommended. Book outlines what life was like for our suffrage ancestors.  A book about the Pankhurst sisters and their relationship. A mystery novel with a suffragette as the victim. Another review of Sylvia Pankhurst, the rebellious suffragette. Writer hard at work researching life of Emily Davison. A book about the suffrage movement in Oregon. Link #2. Link #2a.

Seeing Suffrage: Voting, then and now is a new book to be published in 2013. Link #1Link #1a.

Amelia Bloomer Project is a committee of the American Library Association evaluating books about gender, including suffrage, geared to readers from birth to age 18. Find out more. The books that girls read are featured in this blog post.

If you’ve read a book that’s important to share, let us know. Contact us at suffragewagon at gmail. Check out the magazine platform of Suffrage Wagon News Channel and new features.

Suffragists out of the Shadows: Plus News Flash!

History of Woman Suffrage, Volume I, by Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Matilda Joslyn Gage. Free ebook, available online.

NEWS FLASH: Original 19th Amendment document on display at Clinton Library for a limited time. Special radio report by Malcolm Glover. Link.

EXTRA, EXTRA!!  A new book about Long Island women, published by The History Press, just came in the mail. I’m looking forward to curling up on the couch and reading Women in Long Island’s Past: A History of Eminent Ladies and Everyday Lives by Natalie A. Naylor, Professor Emerita at Hofsta University, editor of the Nassau County Historical Society Journal, and Long Island Historian. This puts Grandmother Edna and her times in a much clearer perspective.

I’m gearing up for a virtual birthday party in Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s honor on November 12, 2012 by reading the featured free ebook, History of Woman Suffrage: Volume I, with its 1157 pages. It’s the introduction to a six-volume set of the history of the woman suffrage movement started in 1881 and completed in 1922.

I breezed through the digital book with many clicks and slides, although it took considerable effort to digest the material. Consider it a detailed report from the Big Three of the suffrage movement (Cady Stanton, Anthony, Gage) passed on down to us today. Personal accounts, letters, original documents, reports, recommendations, meeting minutes, speeches, and much more were documented with a freshness and with an ear and eye to passing on an account of those precious moments.

If people laughed or clapped during a speech, it’s noted. The authors were aware that if they didn’t document the suffrage movement, no one would. And since women documenting their activism was a rare event, it’s all the more valuable for us today. Volume I is a remarkable document, considering it’s from a time period when women were infrequently seen and heard. I read my free version on Amazon, and it’s available on several other internet sites.

My favorite parts: the 1840 Anti-Slavery Convention in London where Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott hatched their plans for the Seneca Falls Convention (though it wouldn’t take place until eight years later) and the Seneca Falls Convention itself.

DON’T FORGET to send your birthday greetings on this form to Elizabeth Cady Stanton for her 197th virtual birthday party on Suffrage Wagon News Channel!

Suffrage Wagon News Channel has news and stories of the suffrage movement. Find out more!

Suffrage Bookshelf: The life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Women’s Suffrage and the First Vote by Dawn C. Adiletta

As the 2012 presidential election approaches and all the media coverage about extensive efforts to deny the vote to citizens, the spirit of Elizabeth Cady Stanton is stirring in the wake of her birthday on November 12, 2012. She’ll be 197 years old. Join us in celebrating at her virtual birthday party. For more information about the event, visit this link.

When I was young, my mother made sure my birthday and holiday gifts included books about famous and accomplished women. I didn’t realize then how unusual that was. Sadly though, I never had a book about Elizabeth Cady Stanton. These days Elizabeth Cady Stanton has considerably more recognition, although it’s too often, “Oh, that lady and Seneca Falls.” Which brings us to the part we all play in educating young people by passing on the torch of wisdom and appreciation.

This book, featured above, is available on Audible and worth listening to. Type “suffrage” into the Audible search engine, however, and only this work  comes up. It’s an excellent overview of Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s life for young audiences. After spending a little over an hour with the audio version, it’s clear how much we owe to this one woman who changed the world. Someday when political parties are more interested in democratic participation rather than manipulating the outcome of elections, our suffrage ancestors will be given their due.

Combined with Stanton’s memoir (free as an ebook online), Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Women’s Suffrage and the First Vote, gifts us with the essentials of a life devoted to equal rights. The work provides details Elizabeth doesn’t tell you herself, including the resistance from her father and husband about her political activities. I love the part describing Elizabeth using her white hair and matronly figure so as to be less threatening to audiences when she laid out her radical views.

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