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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
“Woman is a glorious possibility, the youngest-born of God’s creatures, the Benjamin of life, the future of the world is hers.” Those profound words, written by Matilda Joslyn Gage in 1882, hold true even to this day and beyond as women continue to carve their epitaph of possibilities and achievements. Not many people know about this woman, a suffragist forgotten in time. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (and others) made their name in the annals of history as prophetic activists for women’s rights. Matilda contributed equally and her words speak volumes about what can and should be done in the ongoing battle for equality. Brought up in an abolitionist household, she held firmly to the belief in equality for everyone. How could this woman be so forgotten? Perhaps it was more a case of being “written out of history” because of her more radical views, clearly revealed in her writings which were condemned by many as “going too far.”
Susan Savion’s book, Quoting Matilda: The Words and History of a Forgotten Suffragist, is a revealing look at someone whose thoughts and beliefs were well ahead of her time in so many ways. The author unveils a historical, biographical perspective of this amazing woman and shares some of the most empowered and enlightening quotes from her writings. With fascinating historic photographs, the author leads the reader through one woman’s life, her career, a dedication to a noble cause, all in relation to the history of the time and the others who fought the same battle. Each chapter begins with the label “On Freedom,” followed by an applicable and telling quote from Matilda’s writings, one that leads readers into the topics discussed in the chapter. A fascinating, engaging, and educational read.