Mistress Suffragette

Mistress Suffragette

by Diana Forbes


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A young woman without prospects at a ball in Gilded Age Newport, Rhode Island is a target for a certain kind of “suitor.” At the Memorial Day Ball during the Panic of 1893, impoverished but feisty Penelope Stanton draws the unwanted advances of a villainous millionaire banker who preys on distressed women—the incorrigible Edgar Daggers. Over a series of encounters, he promises Penelope the financial security she craves, but at what cost? Skilled in the art of flirtation, Edgar is not without his charms, and Penelope is attracted to him against her better judgment. Initially, as Penelope grows into her own in the burgeoning early Women’s Suffrage Movement, Edgar exerts pressure, promising to use his power and access to help her advance. But can he be trusted, or are his words part of an elaborate mind game played between him and his wife? During a glittering age where a woman’s reputation is her most valuable possession, Penelope must decide whether to compromise her principles for love, lust, and the allure of an easier life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781946409072
Publisher: Penmore Press LLC
Publication date: 03/06/2017
Pages: 414
Sales rank: 1,058,393
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.92(d)

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Mistress Suffragette 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Jewelsey More than 1 year ago
Splendid, delightful and engaging. Mistress Suffragette is a wonderful story set in the time when women fought to have a voice while still being dependent on a man. It is a great read and brimming with enlightening historical information. It is brilliantly written in the time setting of the 1890’s during the Gilded Age and the women’s suffragette movement. The author, Diana Forbes, has woven together a fictional tale with real life historical events. The main character Penelope, is a young woman that is trying to find her way, after her family is hit with hardship. Her choices are not easy nor clear. She has many things that stand to prevent and hinder her progress during this time of struggle for her and her family. During a time when virtue is important, Penelope finds herself attracted to a wealthy married man. Making her life even harder to deal with. Although there is plenty of interesting and welcome drama written into the story, it is also light hearted, and enchanting. The author depicts and portrays the time and setting in a wonderful beautiful way, pleasing the readers imaginary senses and mind aesthetically. I was more than pleased and felt like I was placed in the setting and time. Which is an important quality in writing for me. Mistress Suffragette, deals with what was probably the real life way of living in those days. I loved the narrative and the dialog between the characters. This isn’t just another historical novel, this one is much more captivating, colorful and deep. It is very well written, thoughtful and engaging. The plot is full and complete. The characters are well developed with interesting personalities. The writing and editing is to perfection. I couldn’t put it down. It was my great escape of the week. I loved it! Diana Forbes has a unique voice and quality to her writing. Readers will be pleasantly satisfied with this work of art in the form of writing
Anjesen 18 days ago
In the midst of the "golden era" of the United States of America (a period after the Civil War and Reconstruction in which the country experienced an unprecedented economic, industrial and demographic expansion, but also great social and economic conflict), the country is entering a serious economic depression that would later be called “The Panic of 1893”. The Stantons, an upper middle class family from Newport, Rhode Island, are urged to marry their daughters to get them out of economic trouble. The banker and predator of distressed damsels Edgar Daggers offers a promising job to Penelope, whom he harasses insistently, despite being a married man. The girl's parents insist that the deal is the best thing that could have happened to them, but Penelope feels trapped between the illusion of love, the economic pressure and the fear of losing her reputation. Trying to take distance, Penelope gets involved in the Boston Women's Suffrage Movement, and in it she finds a new goal that’s in direct conflict with her system of values. This book is the fictionalized diary of a young lady who undertakes the unorthodox path of female suffrage, and whose goals are: to make women "put on their pants", become financially independent and knowledgeable about the laws that involve them, and get (of course) the right to vote. Penelope's story is very interesting and the plot is full of romance, history, wisdom ("I'm a pacifist, I said. —You still have to fight for what is right. It's called leadership.") and it's also very funny. As if that were not enough, the book is surprisingly well documented and contextualized: from the artistic moment (the Ashcan painting school), the details of the women's suffrage movement, the post-fire Boston environment and the technological advances of the time (the typewriter with vertical mechanical action, the bicycle variants) to the weather events of the period, such as the hurricane of 1893. I highly recommend this book. It is perfectly well written and edited, and both the characters and the plot have been sculpted with great detail and care. Mistress Suffragette is one of those books that are read with pleasure, enjoyed with a smile and that leave a very good "taste in the mouth."
Anonymous 27 days ago
I love historical fiction so Diana Forbes book was a natural choice for me. Mistress Suffragette is a story about 17 year-old Penelope who gets involved in the suffrage movement set in Boston, Newport and Manhattan. She decided to run away and leave everything behind her. The reason is her father became bankrupt and Penelope’s family need someone to support them. That’s why her mother is desperate to find a rich husband for Penelope. She refused and ended up in Boston. The novel is full of fascinating details about the era, culture, and events at that time. Diana Forbes, without doubt wrote an excellent book and I’m eager to see what she comes up with next.
Nicole_C_ 7 months ago
In Mistress Suffragette I found the 1890s leapt off the page immersing me in Penelope’s world and the engrossing plot. This is a romance story but there is more to it than your standard run-of-the-mill Romance Genre offering. Penelope is a multi-layered character with faults and dreams that drew me in so I really felt for her struggle as the story went along. There was a lot of detail pertinent to the time so it was clear the author must have done a lot of research to pen all of the particulars so clearly and convincingly. This is a book I was unsure of to begin with, but before long I couldn’t get enough of it. An excellent read.
Pate13 More than 1 year ago
This book was well researched and well written. I struggled a lot with the main character and her choices, but appreciated and could relate to the growth she exhibited. I think it's probably a much more realistic retelling of what women were going through in the heart of the suffrage movement.
sass1 More than 1 year ago
I love this time period and the author does a great job of bringing the 1890s to life. The writing is descriptive, bringing people, places, and the time period to life. The book is real and the reader is transported to this time period. The book begins with the main character Penelope at the ball after being dumped by her fiancée due to her family's economic hardships. The reader feel compassion for Penelope and realizes that this is just the beginning for this woman journey. The author does a great job developing the characters, some the reader likes others they do not. Penelope's father was a depressing man, which the reader can relate to under the circumstances, but does not help to like the man. Being withdrawn from his family her mother steps in to make most decisions making sure that everyone realizes image is everything, going as far as to let her daughter to enter into a relationship just to maintain her lifestyle and place in society. It is easy to forget reading this book that in today’s society, there was a time that women had little rights. It is hard to believe that women were married off shortly after puberty and considered and old maid at 20. I loved all the historical references to the National Woman Suffrage Association in New York, but could have done without Edgar Daggers' character who I found despicable and a user. How he uses of Penelope getting her becoming his mistress in exchange for all the riches, I found repulsive, not surprising for that time period. Overall the book is well written, the flow is well paced and I would recommend this book to anyone who likes that time period. Also I think this book would make for a great BBC series..
EmersonRoseCraig More than 1 year ago
Mistress Suffragette is a thrilling story about a young girl whom history has given very few choices. After Penelope's father's business fails and her fiance leaves her, she finds that she must take care of herself. Edgar Daggers offers her security and passion if she becomes his mistress, but she will have to give up her reputation. I liked following Penelope because of how strong of a person she is. Despite her situation, she takes control of her life. She is also a relatable person with flaws. She lusts over the man she knows she shouldn't want and is afraid of the changing world. The look at the suffragette movement is also an interesting view of history. The book is exciting, has an in-depth world, and shows the struggle of being a female in history. I very much enjoyed this book and would recommend it to lovers of historical fiction and romance.
Steve_Wilson More than 1 year ago
Reading this book is really going to take you back to the 1890s, so if you enjoy stories that are not only compelling but also historically accurate, it’s going to be right up your alley. Penelope, the main character, is a young girl who becomes caught up in the customs and beliefs of the 19th century society as her future marriage falls apart before it even has a chance to be registered. Penelope’s family loses their fortune due to a major economic crisis, and she is no longer a desired bride for her fiancé. Since her chances for another engagement and marriage are extremely low, she immediately becomes a target for flirting and sexual advances from married men who want her as their mistress. Penelope even succumbs to have a relationship with one of them, but she eventually becomes disillusioned and joins suffragette movement to prevent other young girls from suffering a fate like hers and to give them fuller, happier lives.
ChapterAndH More than 1 year ago
Unlike other reviewers I didn’t find Mistress Suffragette particularly funny, but what I did find was an engrossing story from a skilled writer. Penelope is a fascinating character and her family members, and the idiosyncrasies and interactions between them, make for a solid foundation for the book. Another thing I thought while reading is that this would make a wonderful movie, or even a compelling stage play, so I hope at some point I’ll get to see one or the other. There is no doubt that Forbes will go on and on after releasing such a powerful first novel, and I’ll be in line to read all others she releases from now.
Bleatzy More than 1 year ago
The story takes us in 1890’s years, when there were completely different rules and customs, but from how the author Diana Forbes described that time, I wanted to read more. The reader meets the main character of the book - the young Penelope Stanton, by the example of which, I understood how hard her life was. Penelope is desperate in searching of her husband, she goes to the ball to looking for her fiancé and there she met a man who influenced her life, his name is Edgar Daggers. An influential and wealthy man, having learned the financial difficulties of her family, decided to offer her to be his mistress, while Edgar’s wife didn’t mind. However, Penelope had a question, what to do? Be in poverty or agree to the proposal of a married man? Excellent reading that will not leave the reader indifferent. I really enjoyed it and I want to advise you to read the Mistress Suffragette.
Grymm More than 1 year ago
Wow! Penelope is such a great character it was hard to see the story end. Diana Forbes really captures the struggles of this character and time. One of my favorite things of this story is how vivid and real the time period seems. The research Forbes did alone must have been extensive. The story starts off with a sort of romantic tragedy befalling our beloved Penelope: her engagement is called off. This, couple with the social and economical consequences of her family losing their fortune, becomes the catalyst for Penelope’s adventure. The pressure from family, and circumstance, really come to life and push Penelope toward goals that weren’t necessarily hers. She eventually is able to free herself from the fetters of family and starts living her life as a suffragette. Overall, an A+ story written by a skilled writer.
lynne1946 More than 1 year ago
Mistress Suffragette is a rare blend of compelling writing, humor and and also serious tackling of important issues. The verbal dexterity and precise plot points laid down by Forbes made reading FTLOA such an enjoyable experience. Penelope Stanton is a fascinating character and despite the obvious gap in time, someone I feel I can relate to. I’ll look for more by Forbes again, no doubt, but for now this is a book I recommend to others.
Gemma Davison More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of period drams, then you are sure to love 'Mistress Suffragette' by Diana Forbes. Set in the late 19th Century, the story focuses on Penelope Stanton – a poor woman with dreams of financial security and happiness. She catches the eye of millionaire Edgar Dagger, who seems charming at first, but has darkness lurking beneath the surface. He promises her a better life, and to use his power to support the Suffragette movement with which she has become deeply involved. Do Edgar's action come with good intentions, or is Penelope just plaything for him to manipulate? 'Mistress Suffragette' is an accomplished debut novel, which really captures the foreboding atmosphere of 'The Panic of 1983', as well as the excitement and defiance of the women's Suffragette Movement. You will struggle to find period fiction that is better researched and as immersive as Diana Forbes'. She writes with real emotion, bringing her characters to life, and tackles a challenging subject with real honesty. A great read from start to finish.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not only was ‘Mistress Suffragette’ a captivating story but I learned a lot of really interesting things about the 1890s. I’d be tempted to think of this book as almost a ‘nonfiction novel’, given the amount of educational material it provides. Young women were seen very much as ornamental and extremely constraining expectations were placed upon them – physically, emotionally and socially. The story begins at a ball, where all these constraints are in full effect. Escaping the confines of her family, who she feels have betrayed her best interests, the main character, Penelope, finds herself amidst a gathering of Suffragettes, where, finally she finds her voice and has an appreciative audience too. The story largely concerns Penelope’s family life and love life amid the backdrop of women’s dress reform being introduced and Penelope’s newly discovered talent and career in public speaking. 10 out of 10, Diana Forbes!
BookTastical More than 1 year ago
I found Mistress Suffragette gave an often humorous but also somewhat dark and frank view of life for women like Penelope in the 1890s. Forbes writing comes across as very honest and frank, and because it wasn’t too flowery I felt a much more profound connection with the leading character. Overall a found this to be a great read and will be looking for further books by Forbes in the future.
UndercoverBookReviews More than 1 year ago
I have really come to enjoy historical types of books. Love the way that I'm able to relax and escape into a whole different time era. This book brought just that with the well balance of plot and characters. But yet when reading this book you can still see that there are things that are just the same now from then. Recommendable book!
CGYReviews More than 1 year ago
It isn’t very often I come across a book, especially from an author I previously haven’t read, that impacts me in such a profound way so that I take it completely to heart. Diana Forbes proves here that she is a master storyteller, and with subject matter that is equally informative, entertaining and moving I think Mistress Suffragette is an amazing book destined to find a much wider audience. In fact I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this is soon snapped up for a small-screen or big-screen transformation. I’d advise anyone with even a passing interest in this period of our history to give this book a whirl.
Bibliophanatic More than 1 year ago
Mistress Suffragette is a beautiful and heart-wrenching tale about a young woman’s struggle in a male dominated world. I’m sure this was written in a literal sense of the time, but so much is still relevant today, and with recent uncovered happenings in Hollywood the subject matter is even more prevalent than ever. Forbes is a very accomplished author, and she paints each scene in a seemingly effortless way allowing the reader to be whisked away along with Penelope Stanton’s journey. I loved the book right until the final page and I know I’ll go back and read again. I already recommended this to three of my friends so I may reread along with them.
TootYourBooks More than 1 year ago
Mistress Suffragette is an accomplished book that does a great job of showing readers what it was like for women in the late 19th century. The vivid reality Forbes creates in terms of the senses is quite remarkable. Perhaps the gruesomeness of a lot of the oppression is not conveyed, but as this is a romance novel that can be forgiven. Many of the other reviews seem to focus heavily on the historical nature, and it is handled very well, but for me the romance and plot line were far more fulfilling. Penelope is a great character, with depth and flaws of her own, and her journey was entertaining and at times eye-opening as well. Very near to five stars, but four for me.
rokinrev More than 1 year ago
( Disclaimer: I won this book from GoodReads and the publisher) “Never toast your enemies. It accords them too much power” Penelope Stanton, oldest of two daughters of Newport scion Phillip Stanton, is caught between the old order and the new age. As the panic of 1893 comes crashing in, it leads the way for suffrage and abolitionist outcry that drown out the once Gilded Age of money equally power in a chess game where the children become the game pieces in keeping things solvent. Spurred by her first beau in part because of the downtrend in finances, Penelope becomes what at first she abhorred: a Suffragette. Intelligent enough to find her voice as well as her abilities, she breaks out of the mound to become one who rallies for justice across the board. “Literary archeologist” Diana Forbes pens this look at the revolution and change in the lives of women in the late 1800s with spark and a “joie de vive” that is easily caught the deeper one gets into this story. Recommended.
Reader_Views More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Juliana Leal for Readers Views (05/17) “Mistress Suffragette” by Diana Forbes is a wonderful and detailed journey that takes you back in time to the late 19th Century Gilded Age (1870-1900). It is a vivid story that merges romance, fiction, and historical events that took place during that age. Diana Forbes’ fascinating descriptions of the time and characters will make you feel you are right there witnessing all the events. Set in Newport, Rhode Island, Manhattan, and Boston, this novel will captivate your imagination from beginning to the end. Penelope Stanton is a young woman who is drawn into the early Women’s Suffrage Movement in the U.S., to find empowerment and a voice in an age where women were not treated equally under the law. During this time she struggles with numerous challenges, from her father´s bankruptcy and an overbearing mother who wants to find her the right marriage prospect ($$), to an eccentric group of friends and a society that is facing the markets crash of the panic of 1893 (a nationwide depression). She also encounters a wealthy suitor (Edgar Daggers) who preys on distressed women and is not at all interested in women’s rights, but promises her financial security. The most valuable asset of women in these times was their reputation, so Penelope Stanton will have to consider all her struggles and yet do what she really wants to do with her life. This novel will give you insight into the incredible courage of the early Suffragettes and the importance of equal rights. “Mistress Suffragette” by Diana Forbes is filled with exquisite’s details about that period in time, with a realistic storyline, and genuine characters. It is a fantastic and highly recommended read for anyone who wants to know more about that point in history and who loves tales of romance, fictional, and historical events.