Unfinished Books:
Fascinating 19th-century American Women


Mrs. Sherlock Holmes was advertised to me by my library's website. As I was at the time a bit bored in my Devil in the White City reread (a book that utterly enraptured me the first time through), I put it on hold to arrive as school ended. This move was also influenced by why I was doing the reread: Lady Steed's book group was reading Devil and one of the members had complained to us how the book treated females. One female architect who was driven insane, and most of the other women ended up murdered and melted down. Not exactly a great work of inspiring feminism. A crackerjack female detective roughly contemporary to Devil sounded like just the thing.

The book arrived and, unfortunately, I went on a poetry4567813 and comics123910111214151617181920 tear. So even though we ended up having the book for nine weeks --- practically the entire summer --- I never cracked it open. Sad face.

The second book, Trials of a Scold, was in some ways even more promising. A muckraker before there were muckrakers, a satirist in a young country, a woman without a clear place in society who decided to become a creature of letters, and who pissed off the rich and powerful in the process. She was eventually found guilty of being a "scold" using an old bit of English common law some lawyer dug up just to try and shut her up.

Unfortunatly, the book is a chronological mess and was tough to read. She's poor and unpublished then in the next paragraph she's famous and just off being convicted of being a scold. It's hard to follow and in the end, I decided the library could just have the book back. Let me know when the movie arrives. Sad face.

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