Archives: Women writers and journalists

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 »

The Sherlock Holmes look, Elizabeth I’s mediocrity, Heads and Tales, and Highsmith at 100: newsletter, February 5, 2021

February 7, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, history, journalism, newsletter, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,401) on Friday, February 5, 2021.     The ability to learn is one of our highest values. Gathering facts and information and marrying them to our previous knowledge and experience is the essence of what it means to be human. But what about our • Read More »

Heads and Tales: Caricatures and Stories of the Famous, the Infamous, and the Just Plain Interesting

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

My latest literary and artistic efforts are coming to fruition in the next couple of weeks with the publication of a new book: Heads and Tales: Caricatures and Stories of the Famous, the Infamous, and the Just Plain Interesting. The book will be in paperback and ebook form, but it will be accompanied by something else: a podcast • Read More »

Susan Glaspell, a forgotten feminist writer, and Lawrence Block, successful and prolific: newsletter, January 15, 2021

January 17, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, newsletter, reporting, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

  A common saying among woodworkers – one you have probably heard – is “measure twice, cut once.” That saying counsels us to be careful. But there is another saying that is less well-known and maybe just as important: “Let the tools do the work.” What that saying tells us is that sometimes we can • Read More »

Happy New Year, a great female Restoration writer, journalism drives through Crazytown, and more 2020 review: newsletter, January 1, 2021

January 3, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, fiction, newsletter, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,480) on Friday, January 1, 2021.   Happy new year. During this time of year, we often hear the word “resolutions,” and we may be encouraged to “make resolutions.” Possibly like many of you, I have found that making resolutions is frustrating and ultimately unproductive. • Read More »

Rebecca Harding Davis and the beginnings of American realism

December 12, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | 1 Comment | Filed in: books, fiction, journalism, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

If you know anything about journalism history, you probably know the name Richard Harding Davis. He was a reporter in the early 20th century known for his coverage of the Spanish-American Wa, the Boer War, and the beginnings of World War I. He was also one of the most handsome men of his day. His • Read More »

The woman at the start of American realism, the women of Edward Hoch, and the death of Erskine Childers: newsletter, December 11, 2020

December 7, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, journalism, newsletter, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (2,4xx) on Friday, December 11, 2020. No room in the inn. Anyone familiar with the Christmas nativity story has heard the phrase “no room in the inn.“ The phrase is a short explanation for why Jesus was born in a stable, but over the centuries • Read More »

Unity and the lack thereof – American style

November 30, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, freedom of speech, history, journalism, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

In the immediate aftermath of political campaigns, the winner (and sometimes even the loser) appeals for “unity,” which often means in real-speak, “I want you to agree with me now that I am in power.” Such appeals, possibly well-meant, rarely have much effect on either supporters or opponents. But it sounds good, and it’s expected. • Read More »

The writing of Hans Brinker, Gayle Lynd’s long journey, and a Walter Mosley short story: newsletter, September 25, 2020

September 27, 2020 | 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 (2,521) on Friday, September 25, 2020.   The year continues to bring its oddities. Major League Baseball is finishing its shortened season this week and will begin playoffs next week. The configuration is like no other, and I won’t try to explain it. I’m not • Read More »

Josephine Tey and her masterpiece of paranoia in postwar England

September 22, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: books, journalism, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

Those Americans of us who watch a lot of British-produced television — from Upstairs, Downstairs to Downton Abbey to Belgravia and many more besides — are often impressed, if not horrified, by the number of servants required to help the British upper-classes get through the day. Butlers, cooks, scullery maids, chambermaids — the list of • Read More »

Mary Mapes Dodge and her extraordinary editorship of St. Nicholas magazine (part 2)

September 22, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

The publishers of The Century Magazine, in 1872, had given Mary Mapes Dodge a golden opportunity — a “blank check,” as we would say today. She was determined to make the most of it. They wanted her to create a magazine for children, and they were convinced that Dodge was the right person for the • Read More »

Mary Mapes Dodge, the Silver Skates, and St. Nicholas magazine (part 1)

September 22, 2020 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: fiction, journalism, Women writers and journalists, writers, writing.

Mary Mapes Dodge, suffering from the disappearance and then death of her husband in 1857 and facing the need to support herself and her two sons, wrote one of the most beloved children’s novels of all time — Hans Brinkler or The Silver Skates. For that, she will always be remembered. But what she did beyond the • Read More »