Fettered for Life, Or, Lord and Master: A Story of To-day
First published in 1874, Fettered for Life is both a page-turning melodrama and a classic of subversive literature. The novel tells the story of a spirited young women, Laura Stanley, who comes to New York City to seek her fortune. Prejudices and dangers soon beset Laura on all sides because of her gender, as she encounters a colourful cast of villains and heroes representing a cross-section of New York society: a vile and corrupt judge, a working-class wife batterer, a suffragist woman doctor, a gusty washerwoman, a female cross-dresser, and the young man who must accept Laura as an equal before he can win her love. Wound through the plot's many twists is Blake's powerful message: Only when women are allowed their full share of humanity and autonomy can a marriage of true minds take place.