The Renegade Queen

The Renegade Queen

4.6 7
by Eva Flynn

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The award-winning, richly researched novel that tells the astonishing story of Victoria Woodhull's journey from poverty to Wall Street Queen and Presidential candidate.

It's 1869 and Victoria has a choice to make. She can stay in an abusive marriage and continue to work as a psychic, or she can take the offer of support from handsome Civil War general


The award-winning, richly researched novel that tells the astonishing story of Victoria Woodhull's journey from poverty to Wall Street Queen and Presidential candidate.

It's 1869 and Victoria has a choice to make. She can stay in an abusive marriage and continue to work as a psychic, or she can take the offer of support from handsome Civil War general James Blood and set about to turn society upside down. Victoria chooses revolution.

But revolutions are expensive, and Victoria needs money. James introduces Victoria to one of the wealthiest men in America--Commodore Vanderbilt. Along with her loose and scandalous sister, Tennessee, Victoria manipulates Vanderbilt and together they conspire to crash the stock market""and profit from it. Victoria then parlays her fortune into the first female-owned brokerage firm.

When her idol Susan B. Anthony publishes scandalous rumors about Victoria's past, Victoria enters into a fierce rivalry with Susan to control the women's movement. James supports Victoria's efforts despite his deep fears that she may lose more than the battle. She might lose part of herself.

Victoria starts her own newspaper, testifies to Congress, and even announces her candidacy for President. But when Victoria adopts James's radical ideas and free love beliefs, she ignites new, bruising, battles with Susan B. Anthony and the powerful Reverend Henry Beecher. These skirmishes turn into an all-out war, with Victoria facing prejudice, prosecution, and imprisonment. Ultimately, Victoria and James face the hardest choice of all: the choice between their country and their love

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Flynn’s fictional portrait of women’s-rights champion Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for president of the United States, is a striking and sobering depiction of a progressive and controversial figure nearly lost in history. After a childhood corrupted by incest, Victoria marries Dr. Canning Woodhull in 1853 Ohio, at age 14. Canning provides his child bride with an escape from her father, until his addictions destroy their marriage and his career. A practicing psychic, Victoria becomes the breadwinner, and they settle in New York with their children. There, in the late 1860s, Victoria falls in love with Colonel James Blood, but the specifics of her divorce and remarriage are unclear. She campaigns for women’s suffrage and legal protections in marriage, divorce, and business, and she later embraces Marxism; she becomes rich as the first female stockbroker, advocating for women with noted suffragette Susan B. Anthony. Victoria’s life as a “free lover” is tinder for her enemies, who brand her “Mrs. Satan,” and she lands in New York’s worst prison on trumped-up obscenity charges. Flynn does not consider Victoria innocent and convincingly suggests that Victoria’s stubborn defiance harms her children and destroys her relationship with James. Flynn’s Victoria is exciting and ahead of her time, and the novel sheds light on her remarkable life. (BookLife)
Kirkus Reviews
A fictional account examines one of the most notorious women in 19th-century America. In this debut novel, Flynn hews closely to historical facts as she tells the story of Victoria Woodhull, a suffragist and reformer who worked as a fraudulent clairvoyant, opened a Wall Street brokerage with her sister, spent time in jail on obscenity charges, and ran for president in 1872. The book opens with Victoria's abuse-filled childhood, which she escaped through marrying Canning Woodhull at the age of 14. Canning's neglect and morphine addiction eventually lead Victoria to divorce him and marry James Blood, a Civil War veteran depicted as the great passion of her life. (Little is known about Blood, and biographies of Woodhull are contradictory; an author's note addresses the book's adherence to the historical record.) Victoria and James are as passionate about revolution as they are about each other and advocate for Marxism and women's rights, though Victoria's embrace of free love puts her at odds with suffrage leaders Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Despite their love for each other, Victoria and James learn that moral and policy victories make personal happiness difficult, and Victoria is on her own as she leaves to build a new life in England. Flynn turns a history with no shortage of drama into compelling fiction, with a vivid setting and strong secondary characters, particularly Victoria's unfiltered younger sister and frequent sidekick, Tennessee: "My sister," Tennessee says, "prefers martyrdom. As for me, I do not want the nails in my hands. I have beautiful, smooth hands. Want to feel?" Although the dialogue is occasionally unpolished, Flynn's prose is often insightful, pithily capturing Victoria's defining sense of mission ("Mediocrity's foe and the ugly virgin have joined forces to give the woman the right to vote"). The woman known to the tabloids of her era as "Mrs. Satan" is rendered as both driven and flawed, a fully realized character who will keep readers turning the pages. A multilayered biographical novel that explores the career and scandal of Victoria Woodhull.

Product Details

Omega Press
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5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.73(d)

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The Renegade Queen 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Robindpdx 20 days ago
This was a well-written, interesting book. It is a fictional account based on true events, describing the life of Victoria Woodhull, who went from an impoverished childhood to an abusive marriage where she bore two children. She later campaigned for the right for women to vote, profited from the stock market crash, opened the first female-owned brokerage firm, ran for marriage, started a newspaper and testified to Congress. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Marry231 6 months ago
Powerful work about the little-known life of Victoria Woodhull, a woman who ran for President before she was allowed to vote. Kept me turning the pages.
SimplySarahReviews 9 months ago
I was given an Advanced Review Copy in return for a honest review. The cover, and title, really grabbed my attention, so I'm glad I gave this book a chance. This piece of American historical fiction was well told. Sadly, I can't recall ever learning about Victoria Woodhull (or James Blood), but through this novel, I was able to explore parts of her life and all she fought for with passion. For a young girl raised in poverty, by dysfunctional parents, to one day become a pioneering suffragist, though hated by many, I found amazing for a woman in that time period. Captivating and informative novel! - Sarah
MariaD1 11 months ago
I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour for a fair and honest review. My review is my opinion of the reading material provided. One of the most important lessons I learned as a history major in college is that history is written by the victors. This is clearly true in regards to the life and historical importance of Victoria Woodhull, a woman whose radical ideas and political determination have made many of the rights women have today possible. The Renegade Queen by Eva Flynn is a well written fictional account of Victoria’s life which truly captures the unique person she was and brings her story to life. If you like historical fiction, and want to really know what life was like for women before equal rights, then this is book you must read. Ms. Flynn does a wonderful job bringing Victoria’s character to life; born in abject poverty, abused by her father and neglected by her mother, Victoria managed to become a woman who would pave the way for generations of future women. I easily connected with Victoria from the first page; she’s intelligent, determined, and almost completely fearless. I absolutely despised her father, Rueben Claflin, who was both an alcoholic and a con man, and would have felt sorry for her mother Roxanna, who was illiterate, except for the fact that she never seemed to care about what her husband did to their children. It’s truly remarkable that Victoria became the woman she was with her poor beginnings. Ms. Flynn does an equally good job developing the secondary characters; I especially enjoyed getting to know her sister Tennessee, her daughter Zulu Maude, her son Byron and of course Canning Woodhull and James Blood, the two men who played important roles in her adult life. Ms. Flynn also does a good job with the historical aspects of the story, especially the early suffragette movement, the political ramifications of Victoria’s ideas and the events which led to Victoria’s legal troubles. She paints a particularly interesting, and unfortunately very true, picture of the hypocrisy of certain historical figures who went from being co-workers and supporters to enemies due to Victoria’s “radical” ideas (family planning, birth control, “free love”, women’s equality, and the legalization of prostitution for example), which they feared would turn “respectable” society against them. So who was Victoria Woodhull – a sinner or a saint – a radical or a champion – or just a woman we should all be thankful for? You’ll have to read The Renegade Queen to find out, I enjoyed it and look forward to seeing who Ms. Flynn chooses to tackle next in her Rebellions Times series.
Archaeolibrarian 11 months ago
THE FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE! THE FIRST WOMAN ON WALL STREET BUSINESS OWNER Wow, how exciting! I bet history lessons are fantastic in America. I bet it won't be long until the film is out, after all, we've already had Wolf on Wall Street. Wait, what?! Most of America doesn't even know who she is? This book gives a no-holds barred account of a factual figure, in a biographical fact and fiction book. Confused? This author has done her research. With paper clippings and other 'factual papers' to add to the story. However, in the 1850's, there was much that would have happened that never made it into the papers, hence the fiction side. Victoria Woodhull's story fascinated me. It's that simple! To do what she did, for what she stood for, at that time in history, was simply amazing. She wasn't heading the Suffragette Movement, but rather Women's Equality... waaaay before the world was ready for it! To rise so high, and then drop so low. With friends cutting all ties so that they don't get 'tainted by association', this was a heartbreaking read. It completely amazes me how someone how accomplished so much from so little, could be written out of history in such a way. She wasn't just disliked by the establishment, they did everything they could to completely obliterate her from the history books. I guess history really is written by the victors! I'm not a big fan of politics, as most people know. I'm also English, so I learned a lot at school about English History, I didn't learn much, if anything, about American History (except for when it pertained to the English too). So just tell me why I read this book? To be honest, I don't have the faintest idea! But I am so glad that I did! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. * I received this book from Goddess Fish Promotions in return for a fair and honest review. * Merissa Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
indiebrag More than 1 year ago
We are proud to announce that THE RENEGADE QUEEN by Eva Flynn is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Ica Iova for Readers' Favorite Growing up, Victoria Woodhull — the sixth of ten children — knew nothing but abuse at the hands of her father, poverty, and all sorts of dysfunctional family ties. Her first marriage proves even worse than the family she was born into. In spite of being abused, she becomes very vocal about her opinions where women’s rights are concerned. She becomes an advocate of free love, by which she means the freedom to marry, divorce, and bear children without government interference. Then she meets handsome Civil War General James Blood, whose support encourages Victoria to fight for women’s rights. Named after the English monarch, Victoria lives in an era where women belonged in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, but her determination earns her a nomination for President of the United States in 1872 before women could even vote. But when Victoria adopts James’s radical ideas, she finds herself facing prejudice and prosecution. Eventually, her perseverance forces her and James to choose between their newly discovered love and their duties to their country. Set against the backdrop of early America, Renegade Queen by Eva Flynn is one of the best historical novels I’ve had the pleasure to read in years, a page turner of strong characters who stand up for what they think is right, in spite of the costs. Eva Flynn has done her research. She skillfully textures history with engaging dialogue. She doesn't shy away from controversy. Engaging, realistic, historically accurate, it captivates the reader and makes the story memorable. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was surprised to find out that there was a woman running for president back when women did not have the right to vote.