Two Renegades So Controversial They Were Erased From History
Discarded by society, she led a social revolution. Disgusted by war, he sought a new world.
She was the first women to run for President, campaigning before women could vote.
He was the Hero of Vicksburg, disillusioned with the government after witnessing the devastating carnage of the Civil War.
Their social revolution attracted the unwanted who were left out of the new wealth: the freed slaves, the new immigrants, and women.
Who were they?
This is the true story of Victoria Woodhull and the love of her life, James Blood.
Adored by the poor, hated by the powerful, forced into hiding during their lifetimes and erased from history after death, the legend of their love lives on.
It’s 1869 and Victoria has a choice to make. She can stay in an abusive marriage and continue to work as a psychic, or she can take the offer of support from handsome Civil War general James Blood and set about to turn society upside down. Victoria chooses revolution.
But revolutions are expensive, and Victoria needs money. James introduces Victoria to one of the wealthiest man in America—Commodore Vanderbilt. Along with her loose and scandalous sister, Tennessee, Victoria manipulates Vanderbilt and together they conspire to crash the stock market—and profit from it. Victoria then parlays her fortune into the first female-owned brokerage firm.
When her idol Susan B. Anthony publishes scandalous rumors about Victoria’s past, Victoria enters into a fierce rivalry with Susan to control the women’s movement. James supports Victoria's efforts despite his deep fears that she may lose more than the battle. She might lose part of herself.
Victoria starts her own newspaper, testifies to Congress, and even announces her candidacy for President. But when Victoria adopts James's radical ideas and free love beliefs, she ignites new, bruising, battles with Susan B. Anthony and the powerful Reverend Henry Beecher. These skirmishes turn into an all-out war, with Victoria facing prejudice, prosecution, and imprisonment. Ultimately, Victoria and James face the hardest choice of all: the choice between their country and their love.
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)