Free Ebooks for Women’s History Month

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (sitting) and Susan B. Anthony

One of my favorite pictures of Elizabeth Cady Stanton (sitting) and Susan B. Anthony, late in their lives.

It’s Women’s History Month, and while I don’t usually pay much attention to that sort of thing, it’s a topic that’s certainly worthy. I didn’t know a lot about the women’s suffrage movement in America until I was hired to teach an Intro to Women’s Studies class at Towson State University one year, having seen a flyer up at JHU where I was in grad school at the time. I frantically crammed a whole lot of reading in that summer, prepping to teach a class that covered what seemed to be everything: linguistics, biology, anthropology, literature, and more than anything else, history, history, history.

And in it I met one of the great loves of my life: a movement whose history continues to fascinate and inspire me, the American suffrage movement and the fascinating characters that moved it forward: Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Victoria Woodhull…and more, a cast of hundreds in a period that was turbulent and changeable and crammed full of social movements, including abolition, free love, spiritualism, temperance, women’s suffrage and a myriad others.

If you’re interested in it, a great place to start is Stanton’s own memoir, EIGHTY YEARS AND MORE: REMINISCENCES 1815-1897, which is free on the Kindle as well as on Project Gutenberg (as is everything I mention for free on the Kindle). Or the books she, Susan B. Anthony and Matilda Joslyn Gage authored, also available free on the Kindle, Volumes I, II, and III of HISTORY OF WOMAN SUFFRAGE as well as the three later volumes penned by Ida Husted Harper, Volumes IV, V, and VI. Harper also wrote THE LIFE AND WORK OF SUSAN B. ANTHONY, Volumes I and II. (Note: I don’t see Volume II in a free version on the Kindle; if you don’t want to pay, I suggest going to look on Project Gutenberg and maybe kicking them a buck or two as a thank you.)

Or go to one of the documents that started it all, Mary Wollstonecraft’s VINDICATION OF THE RIGHTS OF WOMAN or her lesser known book MARIA, OR THE WRONGS OF WOMAN. Other Wollstonecraft available, should you cultivate a taste for her, includes LETTERS ON SWEDEN, NORWAY, AND DENMARK, her short stories, and her novel MARY.

Skip ahead one generation to what Wollstonecraft’s daughter writes (and the wonder of e-books is that all of this is out there for free, which frankly to me makes the Internet the marvel that it is) and you’ll find FRANKENSTEIN, THE LAST MAN, MATILDA, and PROSERPINE AND MIDAS.

I’ll try to post some more of these throughout the month – there’s a TON of free reading out there in this area and the only problem is its discoverability. I welcome recommendations!

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About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and the magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She is currently working on Exiles of Tabat, the third book of the Tabat Quartet. A new story collection, Neither Here Nor There, appears from Hydra House this fall.
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