Tag: herstory

May Sarton: Leaping the Waterfalls (1912-1995 American)

Spending summer 2021 in New Hampshire, I drive through Nelson quite often these days. Each time I do, I think of May Sarton, her years here, who she was, her art, and all she accomplished. I always glance down the road at the cemetery where she now rests.* This post is one I wrote about May two years ago and it feels right to run it again since I feel so close to her these days. Enjoy! May Sarton: Leaping the Waterfalls I’d been duped. The gray-haired writer who moved to the small town of Nelson, New Hampshire in...

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Hannah Davis: Early Entrepreneur Extraordinaire

On an excursion to visit novelist Willa Cather’s gravesite in Jaffrey, New Hampshire last month, my sister and I stumbled upon a historic marker on the side of a road. This marker highlights two of Jaffrey’s most notorious citizens, Hannah Davis and Amos Fortune. We recalled having heard of Fortune before, his story a remarkable one, but we had not heard of Hannah Davis who lived in Jaffrey from 1784 -1863. Davis’s story reveals an entrepreneurial spirit that still amazes today. In 1818, after both parents had passed, only-child Davis was “a spinster of thirty-four, almost penniless,”(Robinson) an unenviable...

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The Doctors Blackwell: How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women – And Women to Medicine by Janice P. Nimura (2021)

On January 23, 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell was awarded a medical degree. She was the first woman in the United States allowed to earn one and she was determined to be a trailblazer. Many labeled Elizabeth an exception: “From all we have been able to learn respecting Miss B.,” it [a letter] concluded, “she is emphatically an exception”(Nimura 81). Elizabeth did all she could to make sure she was not an exception and by the end of her and her sister Emily’s lives: “The ranks of accomplished women doctors were growing, and the Blackwells could take much of the credit...

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Willa Cather’s My Ántonia: An Unusually Beautiful Read

I thoroughly enjoyed my recent reading of Willa Cather’s 1918 novel My Ántonia. There is something soothingly beautiful about it, in part due to the nostalgic quality the narrator, Jim, brings to the story. Jim is thinking back over his childhood, growing up the late 1800s on the Nebraskan plains and in the town of Black Hawk. He tells the story from his perspective, this perspective crafted by Cather, of course. A central figure in Jim’s past is Ántonia, an immigrant from Bohemia, a girl he grows up with and always admires and loves. Well, mostly. There are those...

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Happy 100th Birthday to Betty Friedan!

On February 4, 2021, Betty Friedan would have turned 100 years old. Although she passed away 15 years ago (on her birthday, a 1-in-2,800 chance!), she has not been forgotten, and there are those working in an intentional way to keep her legacy alive. Often called ‘the mother of second wave feminism’ (1960s to 1980s), Betty Friedan had a “passion for the possible,” and persevered in moving the needle toward greater gender equality as much as one woman could. Far from perfect, yet brave, bold, and driven, this “visionary” accomplished more than is often realized. Her book The Feminine...

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