Stories of Amazing Women

I was privileged to attend “They Called Me Lizzy… from slavery to the White House” at the Attleboro Art Museum. It was a one-woman show about Elizabeth Keckley, a slave who earns her freedom as a seamstress and becomes the “modiste” for Mary Todd Lincoln. Stephanie Jackson, the actress, made the pain and the triumphs of “Lizzie” come alive. The story does not end happily — for either Mrs Keckley or Mrs. Lincoln — and was all the more moving because of this. Keckley’s grave has only recently been rediscovered.

In October, Rhode Island (many different organizations within the state) is celebrating Louisa May Alcott with Living Literature performances, showings of the movie Louisa May Alcott: the Woman Behind Little Women and book discussions of Harriet Reisen’s biography. Louisa May Alcott was much more than a children’s book author. She was a nurse for a short time during the Civil War, a European traveler, a writer of “pot-boilers” and the mainstay of her family.  I look forward to seeing the Living Literature performance, since I am “portraying” Alcott for the Attleboro Area Civil War Commemorative Committee’s Nov. 5th program at the First Baptist Church in North Attleboro.

If you would like to read about Elizabeth Keckley — or have your children read about her — check out these books.

For Louisa May Alcott, try Harriet Reisen’s book.

For books about Mary Todd Lincoln, try this one by Jean Baker.

I’m only up to 83 books for the year. The George R. R. Martin book I’m reading, A Dance with Dragons, is over 900 pages. I am probably going to have to bring it back unfinished and check it out again later. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to read 17 more books in the next 3 months. I’m listening to Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh which I hope to have for our December Evening discussion. I just hope it doesn’t become too popular so that we can’t get the copies I’ve placed on hold!