GROUNDBREAKING AMERICAN JOURNALISTS
AND EDITORS ~ Part ONE
by Tara Kingston
Greetings! I’m Tara Kingston, historical romance author and lover of all things Victorian. I’m fascinated by history through the ages, especially the bold, brilliant women who helped shape our world, and I’m delighted to be a monthly contributor to History Undressed. I’ll be sharing facts about daring women through history—some famous, some not so well-known, but all remarkable with their own unique contributions.
Today’s post takes a look at several Victorian women whose accomplishments paved the way for female journalists and editors. In an era where women still didn’t have the right to vote, these American women smashed barriers in journalism.
Sarah Josepha Hale ~ The editor of America’s first women’s magazine, Boston Lady’s Magazine, Sarah Josepha Hale became the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1837, a position she would hold for four decades. During Hale’s years as editor, the popular publication featured topics such as women’s education and women’s employment in addition to engravings and fashion plates. In addition to her achievements as an editor, Mrs. Hale was the author of the children’s poem, Mary Had a Little Lamb, and her letter to Abraham Lincoln influenced the creation of Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863.
Sara Payton Willis Parton ~ Using the pen name Fanny Fern, Parton published columns in a variety of publications. By 1855, she was the highest-paid columnist in the United States, earning $100 a week for her publication in the New York Ledger. She also published books, including two novels, and was a co-founder of Sorosis, a New York City club for female artists and writers.
Margaret Fuller ~ A prominent literary critic at the New York Tribune in the 1840s, Margaret Fuller became America’s first female foreign war correspondent in 1848.
Amelia Bloomer ~ An advocate for dress reform, women’s rights, and temperance, Amelia Bloomer launched her own newspaper, The Lily, in 1849.
Ida B. Wells-Barnett ~ African-American journalist and civil rights activist Ida B. Wells-Barnett, became co-owner of the Memphis Free Speech in 1892. Later, she became a co-founder of the NAACP.
Jane Cunningham Croly ~ Using the pen name Jennie June, Jane Cunningham Croly wrote columns for publications including the New York World, and later became a magazine editor. In an era when women left their careers after marriage, Mrs. Croly continued to work even after she became mother to five children.
Next month, I’ll be taking a look at investigative journalists such as Nellie Bly and Ida Tarbell. Nellie Bly’s adventures provided inspiration for the heroine of my soon-to-be released historical romantic thriller, When A Lady Deceives. I can’t wait to share more about that story and the life of the real-life investigative reporter whose daring exploits made her a pioneer in journalism.
Enjoying some summer reading time? Check out my Secrets & Spies series. The three books in the series are available for Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. Here’s a link to the first book in the series: Secrets, Spies & Sweet Little Lies on Kindle
Here’s a little about the story:
A heart's destiny cannot be denied when a daring Union spy abducts a beautiful runaway bride he suspects of being a traitor.
Emma Davenport was a model senator’s daughter: prim, proper, but hell-bent on escaping the dreaded fate of spinsterhood that awaited her under wartime Washington’s all-too watchful eye. She was going to be a bride, and no one was going to stop her. Not even the daring renegade who steals her from a train transporting her to a forbidden marriage. Her heart tells her this mysterious desperado is a dangerous man, but the pleasure of his touch is a more potent threat than any weapon.
Union Army Major Cole Travis is a highly trained operative, as skilled with deception as he is with a gun. Keeping a beautiful traitor from her rendezvous with a treacherous scoundrel shouldn’t be a challenge for the battle-seasoned spy—but he’s not the only one after his tempting captive. Emma Davenport must be kept out of enemy hands at all costs. Drawn to this woman whose innocent allure may be just another weapon in her arsenal, Cole risks his neck to shield her. Soon, however, protecting her from his own heart’s desire becomes another story entirely.
To Read More About these pioneering female journalists and editors:
All photographs are in the public domain.
About The Author:
Award-winning author Tara Kingston writes historical romance laced with intrigue, danger, and adventures of the heart. A Southern belle-out-of-water in a quaint Pennsylvania town, she lives her own love story with her real-life hero in a cozy Victorian. The mother of two sons, Tara's a former librarian whose love of books is evident in her popping-at-the-seams bookcases. It goes without saying that Tara's husband is thankful for the invention of digital books, thereby eliminating the need for yet another set of shelves. When she's not writing, reading, or burning dinner, Tara enjoys cycling, hiking, and cheering on her favorite football team.
Connect with Tara at www.tarakingston.com and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTaraKingston
In a world where a man’s loyalty doesn’t depend on the color of a uniform, danger, intrigue, and passion are facts of life for the men and women of Tara’s Secrets & Spies series, historical romances set against the backdrop of the Civil War.