Last year, I read a book called The Dead Ladies Project by Jessa Crispin and it really spoke to me. I decide to undertake a (starkly different!) version of my own and read more about (or by) women who interest me. I have a pretty extensive list of ladies I want to learn from, but I picked a random ten for today’s Top Ten Tuesday. I want not only to learn about what they did, but what made them the way they were. What made them tick, so to speak.
Ida B. Wells – A few years ago, back when I first started listening to podcasts, I listened a fantastic one on Ida B. Wells (link to the cast) by The History Chicks and I was immediately interested in this great lady. She did many pioneering things for blacks and women, but she’s probably best known for her work crusade against lynching.
Margaret Fuller – I first read about Margaret Fuller in American Bloomsbury by Susan Cheever and it only made me want to learn more about this remarkable woman. She was Thoreau’s first editor, Emerson’s close friend, the first female war correspondent, and did a great many things before dying tragically shortly after she reached the age of 40.
Margaret Knight – Whenever you go to the store and get a flat bottomed bag, you have Margaret Fuller to thank. She constructed a device to fold and glue the bottoms together. A man stole her design and got a patent on it. She successfully filed a patent interference lawsuit. She created her own company and received royalties for her work. She invented many other things AND I CANNOT FIND A BIOGRAPHY ON HER. Just kids books. I guess I have some searching to do.
Harriet Quimby – Harriet Quimby was one of the first women to fly a plane, was the first woman to fly the English Channel, and found success in Hollywood as a screenwriter. And all before she died at the age of 37.
Lillian Moller Gilbreth – You may or may not recognize her name, but she is the lady who wrote Cheaper by the Dozen, the book the movie was based on. What you may not know is, well, I’m going to let Wikipedia tell a bit here, because seriously, she did SO MUCH; she: was an American psychologist and industrial engineer. One of the first working female engineers holding a Ph.D., she is held to be the first true industrial/organizational psychologist. She and her husband Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Sr. were efficiency experts who contributed to the study of industrial engineering in fields such as motion study and human factors. The books Cheaper by the Dozenand Belles on Their Toes (written by their children Ernestine and Frank Jr.) tell the story of their family life with their twelve children, and describe how they applied their interest in time and motion study to the organization and daily activities of such a large family.
Jeanette Rankin – I haven’t found a book on this lady that I think will be comprehensive enough, but I have to find one. She was the first lady elected to Congress. How could I NOT want to learn about her?
Isabelle Eberhardt – From the book description: Eberhardt’s journal chronicles the daring adventures of a late 19th- century European woman who traveled the Sahara desert disguised as an Arab man and adopted Islam. Wow, right?
Sofia Tolstoy – I hate to admit it (or maybe not?), but I’ve never found Leo Tolstoy very interesting. I tried to read War & Peace and, well, let’s just say it didn’t go well. Sofia on the other hand, she sounds interesting. How DID she put up with that man? I WANT TO KNOW.
Helen Pitts Douglass – Love came to me, and I was not afraid to marry the man I loved because of his color. She was the second wife of Frederick Douglass. There is little written about her, so I will look for her in her husband’s writings.
Daisy and Violet Hilton – Conjoined Twins. Freak show notoriety. Vaudeville stardom. Crash landing. Good golly geeeeeez fascinating.
Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. More HERE.