Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Women's History Month -- Amelia Bloomer: the Woman, the Project, the List.....

With little schooling, Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818-1894) became a teacher at 17. While still in her 20’s she began a lifelong career which included writing, publishing, social reform, activism for women’s rights, and lecturing.

Self-described as "shrinking" and "bashful", she developed into a determined, energetic and independent-minded woman.  She worked to promote schools and libraries and women's right to vote.

Reading about Amelia Bloomer I’ve realized that unintentionally I wrote about a fictional character (Abiah Rose, of Signed, Abiah Rose) who was a contemporary of Amelia Bloomer.

And I set the story in the Genesee Valley, which is not far from Seneca Falls, where she lived and published her influential newspaper.

Being chosen to be on the Amelia Bloomer Project 2011 List of Recommended Titles is a great honor, as the four stated criteria for selection are “significant feminist content, excellence in writing, appealing format and age appropriateness for young readers.” It was my wish to tell an entertaining story first and foremost, while quietly honoring women in history who have struggled to be recognized as people, with talents and abilities and dreams that may be influenced, but not limited, by their gender. Being on this list is important to me – I achieved my goal …. with Abiah, and for Abiah.

My sincere thanks to the Amelia Bloomer Project, with heartfelt appreciation to Amelia Bloomer, the woman.

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