The year 2013 is a special anniversary in women’s history. One hundred years ago, 5,000 women marched on Washington demanding the right to vote. The women were jeered by crowds that had gathered in the capital awaiting Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration the next day. Some were attacked while policemen looked on. Some were arrested. But they persisted.
Such persistence is a hallmark of the women on whom we turn a spotlight this month. Pioneer women, whose previously unknown stories are recounted in books by Janet Floyd, Carla Waal, and Barbara Oliver Korner, forged new lives for themselves and their families, overcoming the often hostile environment through a combination of resourcefulness, resilience, and optimism. And the story of one especially famous pioneer woman is told in John Miller’s Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Woman behind the Legend.
Sarah Winchester, heiress to the rifle fortune, left behind a legend of her own, as well as a labyrinth of a house that continues to fascinate tourists and ghost-hunters alike. Mary Jo Ignoffo separates fact from fiction in Captive of the Labyrinth.
Isabella Gardner, a now largely forgotten poet, liked a little fiction mixed with her fact. Supported by family money if not by her family members, she remade her life, and herself, repeatedly, always expecting the next adventure, or the next husband, to bring her the happiness she sought. Author Marian Janssen chronicles the twists and turns. Alex Beam, of the Boston Globe, calls Gardner “an addictively interesting black sheep.”
Find out more about all these fascinating and determined women and discover others by visiting the press’s website and checking out our special Women’s History Month book sale.