Archives: Women writers and journalists

Malcolm, Vermeer, Key, and the Fourth of July: newsletter, July 2, 2021

July 5, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,332) on Friday, July 2, 2021. Americans celebrate themselves this weekend, as they should. America has no shortage of problems, faults, and flaws. It also has no shortage of critics, many of whom are Americans themselves. So it should be. But one thing that Americans prove • Read More »

Mary Somerville, the first person to be called a ‘scientist’ (part 1)

June 28, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

William Whewell had a problem. In 1834, he was reviewing a newly-published book titled On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences. It was an extraordinary work, something that he had never encountered before. It was a book that took on incomplete and fragmented knowledge of the fields of astronomy, mathematics, physics, geology, and chemistry and brought • Read More »

The best-selling textbook of all time, the motivations of an art forger, and the remarkable Mary Somerville:newsletter, June 18, 2021

June 20, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,332) on Friday, June 18, 2021. The latest controversy to hit Major League Baseball revolves around the “sticky stuff” many pitchers apply to a baseball before they throw it. Applying any foreign substance to a baseball is against the rules. The controversy has been sparked • Read More »

Mary Somerville, the woman who became the first scientist (part 2)

June 19, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

By the time Mary Somerville was 47 years old in 1827, she had lived what might have seemed like to many a full life for a nineteenth-century female. Actually, more than a full life. She had grown up the daughter of a British Naval captain, and as a child the circumstances of her family were • Read More »

The first ‘scientist,’ Forsyth’s enjoyment of silence, and the Irish gun plot: newsletter, June 11, 2021

June 13, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, newsletter, podcasting, reporters, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,332) on Friday, June 11, 2021. Periodically, a few people, and a few members of the news media — and then a few government officials and agencies — will stir themselves up over an identified flying objects, UFOs. As I write this, we are awaiting • Read More »

Inoculation’s advocate, Fleming’s Casino Royale, and the first American to die in Vietnam: newsletter, June 4, 2021

June 6, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: newsletter, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,332) on Friday, June 4, 2021. In addition to all of the delights of a late but beautiful spring here in East Tennessee, we are being treated to one of Mother Nature’s rare rock concerts. It happens less often than a Bruce Springsteen show but • Read More »

The first man in space, a controversial Union advocate, and possibly reviving the Verse and Vision videos: newsletter, April 23, 2021

April 25, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, Civil War, history, newsletter, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,374) on Friday, April 23, 2021. The ongoing fight to make public records public traditionally has been led by state press associations and independent members of the news media. As such, it has been viewed by state legislators and the public at large as self-serving. • Read More »

Anna Ella Carroll, strategic mastermind or relentless self-promoter?

April 24, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

Was Anna Ella Carroll the “military genius,” the “strategic mastermind,” and the “forgotten heroine” of the American Civil War that many of her adherents claim? What she the shadow member of Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet, unacknowledged because of her gender? Or was she simply a relentless self-promoter? Much time and effort among historians, both professional and • Read More »

Elizabeth Cochran Seaman – Nellie Bly: allowing the girls to dream

April 5, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, journalists, reporters, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

When Elizabeth Cochran was 16 years old, she lived with her family in Pittsburgh. The year was 1880, and Elizabeth was intelligent and precocious. The Pittsburgh Dispatch ran an article titled “What Girls are Good For,” and the author concluded the girls were good for having babies and keeping house. It was not an unpopular • Read More »

Wanda Gág and her Millions of Cats

April 4, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, journalism, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

Illustrator-genius Wanda Gág (pronunciation: rhymes with “bog”) must have liked cats. Her most famous book was Millions of Cats, published in 1928 and for many years as much a part of a child’s literary shelf as Goodnight, Moon or Where the Wild Things Are are today. Millions of Cats was not only a wildly popular book (which still sells well today), but it • Read More »

Millions of Cats, Passing notes, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, and more on Opening Day: newsletter, April 2, 2021

April 4, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, journalism, newsletter, reporters, reporting, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,369) on Friday, April 2, 2021.     The 2019 college admissions scandal that resulted in the indictments of more than 50 people — most of them the well-off and well-intentioned parents of college-aged children — was based on an idea that many people carry • Read More »

The first of the modern female reporters, Handel’s revival, baseball’s Opening Day: newsletter, March 26, 2021

March 28, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, history, newsletter, reporters, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,374) on Friday, March 26, 2021. Some of the best news of the week concerns one of my favorites: libraries. The recent stimulus bill passed by Congress and signed by President Joseph Biden contains $200 million to aid public libraries. That amount sounds like a lot, • Read More »

Maxine Cheshire, Martha Gellhorn, and the poet who died too soon: newsletter, March 5, 2021

March 7, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, newsletter, reporters, reporting, Women writers and journalists, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,386) on Friday, March 5, 2021.   When I got into the rhythm of writing this newsletter several years ago, one of the things that I knew early on was that I wanted to learn more about – and write about — women who had • Read More »

Maxine Cheshire: a reporter’s instinct and a little luck

March 6, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, journalists, reporters, reporting, Women writers and journalists, writers.

Maxine Cheshire was a reporter who knew how to get under people’s skin. She irritated Frank Sinatra into a drunken, expletive-ridden rant that was witnessed by dozens of people. She made Jacqueline Kennedy cry and provoked a presidential call to her publisher. She exposed the Nixon family’s greed in keeping gifts from foreign leaders. More • Read More »

Martha Gellhorn: the first woman on Normandy beach, June 7, 1944

March 3, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | 2 Comments | Filed in: journalism, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

Martha Gellhorn had more than just her gender working against her when you wanted to cover the D-Day invasion for Collier’s Weekly magazine in 1944. She had her husband, Ernest Hemingway. Gellhorn and Hemingway had been together, off and on, since 1936 when they left America to cover the Spanish Civil War. Gelhorn was a • Read More »

Sex and the sexual revolution, the beginnings of Gothic, and the Heads and Tales introductory price is expiring soon: newsletter, February 26, 2021

February 28, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, newsletter, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,392) on Friday, February 26, 2021.   One of the big milestones in learning any skill, I have found, is getting to the point where you have the confidence that you can do what you were trying to learn how to do. That was the • Read More »

Ann Radcliffe, a founder of Gothic

February 27, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, journalism, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

Gothic romance has never been a favorite of literary critics of any age, and that was especially true in the late 18th century. And yet, even then, they loved the work of Ann Radcliffe, one of the genré founders and chief perpetrators. As Dale Townshend has written in an article for the British Library website: Even • Read More »

Helen Gurley Brown, sex, and the sexual revolution

February 26, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, journalism, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

The sexual revolution of the 1960s, according to feminist historians, was not about sex but rather about the traditional gender roles that had been foisted upon us by society. Sexual activity, they tell us, had really very little to do with it. Not so for Helen Gurley Brown. The sexual revolution was indeed about sex and • Read More »

America’s first female presidential candidate, the passing of musical legends, and another Heads and Tales podcast:newsletter, February 19, 2021

February 21, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, newsletter, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

  Those of us who have accumulated lots of birthdays have the privilege of looking back across the years with a certain level of bemusement and objectivity. The half-century point is always a good marker, and for the past few weeks, I have been thinking about my life a half-century ago. It was a significant • Read More »

Victoria Woodhull, our first female presidential candidate, spent election night in jail

February 21, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: history, journalism, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

Victoria Woodhull, on the night of November 5, 1872, should have been at home with her husband and family or possibly somewhere with friends and companions. It was the evening of the presidential election of 1872, and Woodhull had a special interest in its outcome. During that campaign, Woodhull had been the first female presidential • Read More »