Notorious Victoria: The Life of Victoria Woodhull, Uncensored

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Algonquin Books, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 372 pages
2 Reviews
Victoria Claflin Woodhull (1838-1927) was the first woman to run for president (sharing the ballot with Frederick Douglass). She was the first woman to address the U.S. Congress and to operate a brokerage firm on Wall Street. Gloria Steinem has called her "the most controversial suffragist of them all". Famed nineteenth-century political cartoonist Thomas Nast portrayed her as "Mrs. Satan". She butted heads with such pillars of society as Cornelius Vanderbilt, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Susan B. Anthony. So why have most people never heard of Victoria Woodhull? Journalist Mary Gabriel's authoritative biography provides the answer: she was written out of history, censored by historians of the women's movement as too scandalous. Victoria had worked as a traveling clairvoyant in medicine shows. She was accused of blackmail and prostitution and was jailed for printing obscenities. She preached - and practiced - the concept of free love, once living with her husband, her ex-husband, and her lover at the same time, in the same New York apartment. Victoria was arguably the boldest voice for women's rights in the nineteenth century, and she was taken very seriously by her contemporaries and by the media, in spite of her unconventional lifestyle. In Notorious Victoria, Gabriel offers readers a balanced portrait of a unique and complicated woman. Gabriel has extensively researched Victoria's entire life, and her book contains revealing - and uncensored - excerpts from Victoria's own writing and speeches as well as the news accounts of her day. This isn't just the story of one woman, it's also the story of the time in which she lived and the many famous - and infamous - figures whose lives she touched.

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Review: Notorious Victoria: The Life of Victoria Woodhull, Uncensored

User Review  - Abigail - Goodreads

Victoria Woodhull was an amazing woman, probably a little crazy, but all the best are. Very well written and researched. Everyone who cares about women's rights should know about Woodhull. Read full review

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About the author (1998)

Mary Gabriel worked in Washington and London as a Reuters editor for nearly two decades. She is the author of Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as The Art of Acquiring: A Portrait of Etta and Claribel Cone.

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