Cover image for Inez : the life and times of Inez Milholland
Inez : the life and times of Inez Milholland
Lumsden, Linda J., 1953-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Bloomington : Indiana University Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
xii, 265 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
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HQ1413.M55 L86 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Inez Milholland was the most glamorous suffragist of the 1910s and a fearless crusader for women's rights. Moving in radical circles, she agitated for social change in the prewar years, and she epitomized the independent New Woman of the time. Her death at age 30 while stumping for suffrage in California in 1916 made her the sole martyr of the American suffrage movement. Her death helped inspire two years of militant protests by the National Woman's Party, including the picketing of the White House, which led in 1920 to ratification of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. Lumsden's study of this colorful and influential figure restores to history an important link between the homebound women of the 19th century and the iconoclastic feminists of the 1970s.

Author Notes

Linda J. Lumsden is Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University, where she teaches journalism and women's studies.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

Had her life not been cut so tragically short by illness in 1916, activist Inez Milholland most likely would have attained suffragette stardom on par with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. In this first biography of Milholland, Lumsden (Rampant Women: Suffragists and the Right of Assembly) recounts her subject's vivid life as a lawyer, war correspondent, and suffragist and clearly delineates her as a "starlet" of her time. Named best all-around athlete at Vassar, Milholland was Amazonian in stature yet in appearance was the embodiment of the Gibson Girl. Lumsden makes the case that Milholland's natural beauty, followed only by her eloquence as a speaker, helped propel her to the forefront of the suffragette movement and, especially, onto the front page of the day's newspapers. Leaving no stone unturned, Lumsden digs up the conflicted person behind the persona: Milholland was the daughter of a wealthy, religious businessman, yet she proclaimed herself an atheist and was an advocate of "free love" even after she married Dutch businessman Eugen Boissevain in 1913. She championed the cause of working women during the notorious shirtwaist strike yet lived with all the luxuries of the class that exploited them. The book's many photographs of Milholland bring her to life, as does the author's fine prose. This spellbinding biography is highly recommended. Janet Sassi, New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introduction: "The full, reliant, audacious way in which they go about"p. 1
1. Childhood: "He sings to the wide world, she to her nest"p. 9
2. London: "Hard to find a more interesting family"p. 20
3. Vassar: "Fascinating,--but a trifle dangerous"p. 29
4. Strike: "Our cause is your cause"p. 44
5. Villager: "Simple but magical words new and free"p. 54
6. Lawyer: "To discharge my own individual debt to society"p. 62
7. Spectacle: "One of the high priestesses of the woman suffrage cause"p. 70
8. Riot: "Every inch the herald of a great movement"p. 81
9. Love: "The most completely vital force in the world"p. 92
10. Marriage: "Here's to our work--yours and mine"p. 101
11. Crusader: "I must have a value somewhere"p. 110
12. Italy: "The spirit of war hangs heavy"p. 120
13. Pacifist: "I have worked well"p. 131
14. Execution: "You are your brother's keeper"p. 143
15. Campaign: "Women will stand by women"p. 152
16. Martyr: "Like depriving the desert of some oasis"p. 164
17. Icon: "How long must women wait for liberty?"p. 174
Epilogue: "Take up the song"p. 186
Notesp. 189
Bibliographyp. 239
Indexp. 255