My purpose in writing this blog is to share fascinating backstory for The Dauntless Series. This includes the activities and personalities of Susan B. Anthony and her family–especially her gun-toting brother Daniel and his wife Annie. On these pages you can:
- View them in the context of the places they settled: Rochester (NY), Martha’s Vineyard (MA), and Leavenworth (KS).
- Meet the people who inspired them. These begin with abolitionist friends of their parents like William Lloyd Garrison, who was mobbed for publishing radical ideas. Then there was Frederick Douglass, an Anthony neighbor who burst the bonds of slavery. And later in life, a host of comrades like feminist Clarina Nichols,who became an expert on women’s rights as a matter of personal survival.
Since 2012, I’ve been writing historical fiction about the Anthonys. (You can tell it’s been a long time by comparing the photo above to the one below!) This blog shows you the facts I’ve uncovered about them.
But history never answers every question! What were people’s private thoughts? What did they say behind closed doors? What were they doing in their everyday lives when they weren’t making history? Only a historical novel can do that, and the best ones are based on solid research.
Companions for Lonely Hearts
Writing can be a lonely profession. So imagine my excitement when I discovered other historical authors using the term “cultural biography” to describe a literary process similar to my own. Here’s David Reynolds, author of John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights (Alfred A. Knopf publisher):
The special province of the cultural biographer is to explore this relationship, focusing on three questions: How does my subject reflect his or her era? How does my subject transcend the era–that is, what makes him or her unique? What impact did my subject have on the era?
What was in the air surrounding the Anthony family that made them so noteworthy? That’s what I’m exploring in my posts.
What’s so special about this blog?
My approach to Anthony history is unique because my main focus is to study their family life, not their public personas. Although I deeply appreciate museums and historic homes devoted to them, I’m not promoting buildings on this blog. And even though I’ve logged thousands of hours reading printed materials, I’ve also spent quite a bit of time in all the major locations I’m writing about. As you read further, I’ll share many places, books, and articles with you.
Before reading on…
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