The Renegade Queen

Eva Flynn. Omega Press, $11.95 trade paper (328p) ISBN 978-0-9969832-0-4
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)
Reviewed on: 08/15/2016
Release date: 12/01/2015
Genre: Fiction
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