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Paperback Book Details
  • 12/2015
  • 9780996983204 0996983201
  • 330 pages
  • $$2.99/$12.99
The Renegade Queen (Rebellious Times) (Volume 1)
Eva Flynn, author
Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for President of the United States, must fight powerful forces to gain the right to vote.
Reviews
Flynn’s fictional portrait of women’s-rights champion Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for president of the United States, is a striking and sobering depiction of a progressive and controversial figure nearly lost in history. After a childhood corrupted by incest, Victoria marries Dr. Canning Woodhull in 1853 Ohio, at age 14. Canning provides his child bride with an escape from her father, until his addictions destroy their marriage and his career. A practicing psychic, Victoria becomes the breadwinner, and they settle in New York with their children. There, in the late 1860s, Victoria falls in love with Colonel James Blood, but the specifics of her divorce and remarriage are unclear. She campaigns for women’s suffrage and legal protections in marriage, divorce, and business, and she later embraces Marxism; she becomes rich as the first female stockbroker, advocating for women with noted suffragette Susan B. Anthony. Victoria’s life as a “free lover” is tinder for her enemies, who brand her “Mrs. Satan,” and she lands in New York’s worst prison on trumped-up obscenity charges. Flynn does not consider Victoria innocent and convincingly suggests that Victoria’s stubborn defiance harms her children and destroys her relationship with James. Flynn’s Victoria is exciting and ahead of her time, and the novel sheds light on her remarkable life. (BookLife)
Anne McNulty, Historical Novel Society

This amazingly good debut novel by Eva Flynn stars Victoria Woodhull, a figure so outrageous and improbable that most of Flynn’s readers will be tempted at first to think she’s an invention of the author. And yet, no! Woodhull, publisher, stockbroker, Suffragette, Communist, and the first female presidential candidate in American history (her running mate was Frederick Douglass), was a very real figure and a regular headline-grabber in the 19th-century United States.

Flynn embarks on the story of this remarkable woman with unabashed enthusiasm, giving us her upbringing, her loves, her controversies, and the controversies that attended this figure Flynn calls a “forgotten feminist.”

As the book progresses, readers become acutely aware of the fact that the “forgotten” part was not an accident: in a delightful twist, the villain of the book turns out to be none other than Susan B. Anthony, who seeks for a variety of reasons to blot Woodhull from history.

Flynn’s storytelling is so energetic and her characters so vividly drawn that in addition to being eye-opening on many levels (especially in light of the fact that the United States may well be about to elect its first female President), it is also a page-turner.

Kirkus Reviews

KIRKUS REVIEW

A fictional account examines one of the most notorious women in 19th-century America.

In this debut novel, Flynn hews closely to historical facts as she tells the story of Victoria Woodhull, a suffragist and reformer who worked as a fraudulent clairvoyant, opened a Wall Street brokerage with her sister, spent time in jail on obscenity charges, and ran for president in 1872. The book opens with Victoria’s abuse-filled childhood, which she escaped through marrying Canning Woodhull at the age of 14. Canning’s neglect and morphine addiction eventually lead Victoria to divorce him and marry James Blood, a Civil War veteran depicted as the great passion of her life. (Little is known about Blood, and biographies of Woodhull are contradictory; an author’s note addresses the book’s adherence to the historical record.) Victoria and James are as passionate about revolution as they are about each other and advocate for Marxism and women’s rights, though Victoria’s embrace of free love puts her at odds with suffrage leaders Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Despite their love for each other, Victoria and James learn that moral and policy victories make personal happiness difficult, and Victoria is on her own as she leaves to build a new life in England. Flynn turns a history with no shortage of drama into compelling fiction, with a vivid setting and strong secondary characters, particularly Victoria’s unfiltered younger sister and frequent sidekick, Tennessee: “My sister,” Tennessee says, “prefers martyrdom. As for me, I do not want the nails in my hands. I have beautiful, smooth hands. Want to feel?” Although the dialogue is occasionally unpolished, Flynn’s prose is often insightful, pithily capturing Victoria’s defining sense of mission (“Mediocrity’s foe and the ugly virgin have joined forces to give the woman the right to vote”). The woman known to the tabloids of her era as “Mrs. Satan” is rendered as both driven and flawed, a fully realized character who will keep readers turning the pages.

 A multilayered biographical novel that explores the career and scandal of Victoria Woodhull.

 

Review Posted Online: March 31st, 2016

Readers' Favorite

Reviewed by Ica Iova for Readers' Favorite

Growing up, Victoria Woodhull — the sixth of ten children — knew nothing but abuse at the hands of her father, poverty, and all sorts of dysfunctional family ties. Her first marriage proves even worse than the family she was born into. In spite of being abused, she becomes very vocal about her opinions where women’s rights are concerned. She becomes an advocate of free love, by which she means the freedom to marry, divorce, and bear children without government interference. Then she meets handsome Civil War General James Blood, whose support encourages Victoria to fight for women’s rights. Named after the English monarch, Victoria lives in an era where women belonged in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, but her determination earns her a nomination for President of the United States in 1872 before women could even vote. But when Victoria adopts James’s radical ideas, she finds herself facing prejudice and prosecution. Eventually, her perseverance forces her and James to choose between their newly discovered love and their duties to their country.

Set against the backdrop of early America, Renegade Queen by Eva Flynn is one of the best historical novels I’ve had the pleasure to read in years, a page turner of strong characters who stand up for what they think is right, in spite of the costs. Eva Flynn has done her research. She skillfully textures history with engaging dialogue. She doesn't shy away from controversy. Engaging, realistic, historically accurate, it captivates the reader and makes the story memorable. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was surprised to find out that there was a woman running for president back when women did not have the right to vote. Five stars.

News
04/10/2016
The Renegade Queen wins the 2016 IPPY Gold Medal for Adult Fiction

Omega Press is proud to announce that the 2016 IPPY Gold Medal for Adult Fiction has been awarded to The Renegade Queen by Eva Flynn. The Renegade Queen tells the true story of Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for President, and her rivalry with Susan B. Anthony.

The "IPPY" Awards, launched in 1996 by Indepedent Publisher, are designed to bring increased recognition to the deserving but often unsung titles published by independent authors and publishers.

Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 12/2015
  • 9780996983204 0996983201
  • 330 pages
  • $$2.99/$12.99

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