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Last week I was in New York for 3 glorious days. Two of those were spent at BinderCon, the first Out of the Binders conference for women writers. (The name is inspired by Mitt Romney’s clueless comments about binders full of women in the 2012 presidential campaign.) Speakers included Jill Abramson, formerly of the New […]

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Today some of Woolson’s observations on Saturdays in New York, when the ladies are out in force . . . Saturday in New York is a marked day, possessing such peculiar characteristics that any one could detect it by a glance at the streets even though just awakened from weeks of sickness with no idea […]

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Then as now New York was known for its art exhibitions. What follows are Woolson’s reactions to the art world of 1871. Not particularly trained in art history or criticism, she tended to react personally—and humorously—to paintings. She knew what she liked . . . The Academy of Design, opposite the magnificent building of the […]

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Woolson loved to find those places in America that revealed traces of a forgotten past. As Henry James said of her, “She stays at home, and yet gives us a sense of being ‘abroad’; she has a remarkable faculty of making the New World seem ancient.” She particularly liked old church yards, whose gravestones were […]

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So, the question has been posed, what did Woolson think of New York women? Here you go . . . “Joining the stream of ladies flowing up Broadway and Fifth avenue on a pleasant afternoon, a stranger is struck by the profusion of fur in which they are wrapped, and immediately withdraws all he has […]

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Some of Woolson’s first literary work was for the Cleveland newspaper the Herald, owned by her brother-in-law and his father, who helped her to start her career. She moved to New York (as so many writers and artists continue to do) in the winter of 1870-71 and began sending home witty letters about her observations. […]