The Scarlet Sisters: Sex, Suffrage and Scandal in the Gilded Age by Myra Macpherson

I would argue the theme of this book is the often quoted “Well behaved Women rarely make history”. 


I am excited to talk a little bit about the book I am reading, “The Scarlet Sisters: Sex Suffrage and Scandal in the Gilded Age by Myra Macpherson. This biography is about two sisters, Tennessee Claflin and Victoria Woodhull. When I started this book, I was aware of Victoria Woodhull, who was the first woman who ran for president. She had name recognition, but I knew little else about her. At the moment I am about half way through the book, and what a ride their lives were. Macpherson details their hard scrabble childhood growing up with their shyster father, while going on to be the first women stockbrokers on Wall Street backed by Cornelius Vanderbilt. They both lived a fascinating life full of drama. If society dictated a social norm, they broke it, and made a living doing so. Their lives prove to be a fascinating read, and an inspiration to think outside the social norms a bit more. After all, it made their lives into a pretty interesting case study of how to live a life people are still talking about 150 years later. 

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