Kentucky Women
Their Lives and Times

Edited by Melissa A. McEuen and Thomas H. Appleton Jr.

Life-and-times histories of women from Kentucky


"Dr. Appleton and Dr. McEuen have done an admirable job in covering all areas of the commonwealth to show the remarkable achievements of women in Kentucky history, economics, politics, and the arts. . . . This book finally fills a void in the research and writing of Kentucky history."
—Duane Bolin, Murray Ledger & Times

"[A]n engaging, intriguing foray into Kentucky's feminine past. Meticulously sourced and short on romanticism, Kentucky Women depicts life as it was for those coming of age in a time where fighting for justice, compassion or one's survival was an inherent part of the female experience."
Kentucky Monthly

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Kentucky Women: Their Lives and Times introduces a history as dynamic and diverse as Kentucky itself. Covering the Appalachian region in the east to the Pennyroyal in the west, the essays highlight women whose aspirations, innovations, activism, and creativity illustrate Kentucky’s role in political and social reform, education, health care, the arts, and cultural development. The collection features women with well-known names as well as those whose lives and work deserve greater attention.

Shawnee chief Nonhelema Hokolesqua, western Kentucky slave Matilda Lewis Threlkeld, the sisters Emilie Todd Helm and Mary Todd Lincoln, reformers Madeline McDowell Breckinridge and Laura Clay, activists Anne McCarty Braden and Elizabeth Fouse, politicians Georgia Davis Powers and Martha Layne Collins, sculptor Enid Yandell, writer Harriette Simpson Arnow, and entrepreneur Nancy Newsom Mahaffey are covered in Kentucky Women, representing a broad cross section of those who forged Kentucky’s relationship with the American South and the nation at large.

With essays on frontier life, gender inequality in marriage and divorce, medical advances, family strife, racial challenges and triumphs, widowhood, agrarian culture, urban experiences, educational theory and fieldwork, visual art, literature, and fame, the contributors have shaped a history of Kentucky that is both grounded and groundbreaking.

Contributors: Lindsey Apple on Madeline McDowell Breckinridge; Martha Billips on Harriette Simpson Arnow; James Duane Bolin on Linda Neville; Sarah Case on Katherine Pettit and May Stone; Juilee Decker on Enid Yandell; Carolyn R. Dupont on Georgia Montgomery Davis Powers; Angela Esco Elder on Emilie Todd Helm and Mary Todd Lincoln; Catherine Fosl on Anne Pogue McGinty and Anne McCarty Braden; Craig Thompson Friend on Nonhelema Hokolesqua, Jemima Boone Callaway, and Matilda Lewis Threlkeld; Melanie Beals Goan on Mary Breckinridge; John Paul Hill on Martha Layne Collins; Anya Jabour on Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge; William Kuby on Mary Jane Warfield Clay; Karen Cotton McDaniel on Elizabeth “Lizzie” Fouse; Melissa A. McEuen on Nancy Newsom Mahaffey; Mary Jane Smith on Laura Clay; Andrea S. Watkins on Josie Underwood and Frances Dallam Peter.

Southern Women: Their Lives and Times

Page count: 448
17 b&w photos, 1 map
Trim size: 6 x 9


List price: $89.95

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List price: $34.95

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Melissa A. McEuen is professor of history at Transylvania University. She is the author of the award-winning Seeing America: Women Photographers between the Wars and Making War, Making Women: Femininity and Duty on the American Home Front, 1941–1945 (Georgia).

Thomas H. Appleton Jr. formerly served as editor-in-chief of publications for the Kentucky Historical Society. Since 2000, he has been professor of history at Eastern Kentucky University. He has coedited five books, including Negotiating Boundaries of Southern Womanhood: Dealing with the Powers That Be and Searching for Their Places: Women in the South across Four Centuries.