Sara Wheeler, in her late forties and eager to defy the so-called "frumpy years" of life after fifty, was delightedly inspired to discover six British women of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries who bucked convention and created impressive "second acts" for themselves by packing up and moving to America in their later lives. The intrepid souls include the vivacious Fanny Trollope (mother of Anthony and sensational author in her own right); glamorous actress turned abolitionist Fanny Kemble; radical social theorist Harriet Martineau; tenacious homesteader Rebecca Burlend; freewheeling explorer and naturalist Isabella Bird; and Jane Austen's niece, novelist Catherine Hubback. Seasoned by the author's assertive quirks - she oddly (albeit affectionately) refers to these independent women as "my girls," and peppers their stories with her own personal commentary - this very entertaining multibiography/history/memoir is an exuberant celebration of six remarkable trailblazers and their unique experiences in a young and fascinating America. (CH)
This title is part of our 2016 Bluestocking Book a Month package.