Hearts of fire: great women of American lore and legend
Three Rivers Press
, Mar 10, 1998
- 437 pages
In Hearts of Fire, Kemp Battle celebrates a diverse and deeply satisfying array of folk heroines and other great American women who represent an astonishing range of experience and give new meaning to the term pioneer. Gathered from books, journals, diaries, newspapers, and letters spanning three centuries, these fascinating stories highlight the American woman's journey toward identity, independence, and self-creation. They serve to remind us, yet again, that America's faith in an individual's right to the pursuit of happiness has been tested repeatedly by our nation's women.
These pages are filled with women like Fanny Fern, the first female newspaper columnist in America; Ernestine Rose, who fled from an oppressive father in Poland to become one of the first leaders of the American suffragette movement; Sojourner Truth, whose wisdom and insight into the nature of slavery humbles us still; Dorothea Moulton Balano, a seafaring woman whose infectiously exuberant diaries would inspire anyone to go to sea; and Lynda Van Devanter, an army nurse in Vietnam, whose memories of war offer us a glimpse into the powerful idealism and indomitable will necessary to survive the worst traumas.
Hearts of Fire honors these great women, whose defiance of expectations and conformity was sometimes dangerous, often arduous, and always inspiring. Whether they are of major or minor importance to the narrative of American history, the many women who come alive in these pages represent a vivid part of our national character and the path of our nation's destiny.
Kemp Battle lives in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, with his wife and four children. An investment banker, he is also the author of Great American Folklore.