I received this book for free from a blog tour in exchange for my honest opinions/ review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.Revolutionary Heart: The Life of Clarina Nichols and the Pioneering Crusade for Women's Rights by Diane Eickhoff
Published by Quindaro Press on March 1st 2006
Genres: history, memoir
Source: a blog tour
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Driven by a deep inner need to end the mistreatment of women, Clarina Nichols (1810-1885) left the comforts of her Vermont home and moved West to the wild frontier of "Bleeding Kansas," where her sons fought alongside John Brown and she helped shaped the state's new Constitution to free slaves and give women rights they had no where else in America. Now, for the first time, the story of Clarina Nichols comes alive thanks to Diane Eickhoff, whose meticulous, six-year quest to collect and analyze Nichols's scattered writings and papers has yielded a richer understanding of this remarkable pioneer in Revolutionary Heart: The Life of Clarina Nichols and the Pioneering Crusade for Women's Rights. It is more than an engaging biography; it is a window into an unjustly overlooked period in American history about the three great 19th century reform movements, women's rights, abolition, and temperance.
In 1827, when Clarina was a teenager, she remembers, “I had a longing desire to do good.” But America wasn’t ready for an ambitious, intelligent young woman. Clarina was supposed to get married and start a family. But her husband turned out to be abusive and a deadbeat. The law was of little help. Her situation seemed hopeless.
This is the amazing true story of how Clarina Nichols turned tragedy into triumph—and went on to help fuel the movement that created a brighter future for women everywhere.
“The name Clarina Nichols deserves to be placed next to those of such luminaries as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton” —Booklist
“Readers will gain a sense of the bravery and conviction it took for Nichols and other women to challenge unjust and ingrained ideologies in order to ensure freedom for future generations.” — Publishers Weekly, Nov. 30, 2015
About Diane Eickhoff
Diane Eickhoff grew up on a farm in Minnesota, taught school in Appalachia and New York, and helped edit a newspaper for an anti-poverty program in Alabama. She has written widely for publications aimed at high school and younger readers. Her biography, Revolutionary Heart, from which this book is adapted, was named a Kansas Notable Book and the winner of ForeWord magazine’s Book of the Year competition in biography, among other honors. She lives with her husband, author Aaron Barnhart, in Kansas City.
I don’t know much about the women’s right’s movement. I should know a lot more, being a women, but I don’t. And I admitably probably take our rights for granted, while complaining about how the boy’s get favored where I work all the time, even though there are 5 times as many girls, and we do 99% of the same heavy lifting that the boys do.
This book, to me, is more a book about the women’s rights movement then about Clarina herself, though naturally, since the book is named after her, there is a lot about her, too, but it’s mostly about her role in the women’s movements, then about her life as a whole (for example, the author talks a lot about Clarina’s first marriage, but everything she writes about the marriage she relates to Clarina’s future role in the movement). I wish there was more about Clarina’s personal life, but the focus of the book isn’t about that.
I was greatly surprised & interested in read about how in some small way, the women’s right movement started in Worcester, which is where my husband grew up & my in-law’s still live!
I also thought it was very cool that Clarina, a lifelong knitter, received yarn from her fans, after helping a woman on the train to keep her children!
I am only giving the book four stars, because (like I said) I wish there was more info about her personal life, but also because after a while, all of her talks and speeches and the various organizations she belonged to started to run together in my head…