In honor of Women’s History Month, I decided to shine a light on 31 Women who, much like Lucy Stone, the protagonist of my second novel, LEAVING COY’S HILL, have been relegated to the shadows of history.
Since the beginning of time, women have been on the forefront of every movement, whether artistic, political or social, as renegades, leaders, rule-breakers, daredevils and role models for those who came after. 31 is a tiny number, but that is where I began. Rather than try to tell you everything about these pioneers myself, I have provided only a brief highlight of each, and pointed you in the direction of resources to learn more. The posts below each contain five of the women I highlighted during the month (in reverse order as they appeared throughout the month). The final woman I featured in the month of March, is where it all began for me, Lucy Stone.
LUCY STONE caught my eye when I was researching character names for a different novel and happened upon a statue in Boston that is part of the Women’s Memorial, a tribute to three enormously impactful women from Massachusetts: Abigail Adams (wife of President Adams), Phillis Wheatley (a slave housed in Boston who went on to become the first published African-American poet), and Lucy Stone. After learning that Lucy was the first woman in the country to actively speak out for women’s rights, the organizer of the first truly national convention on the topic, and the orator who inspired Susan B. Anthony to join the movement, I could not imagine why I had not heard of her before. Well, the answer to that question is an important part of my book!
My years of research of Lucy Stone’s life and legacy gave me a much greater understanding of the fate of so many courageous change-makers, champions of others, and visionaries who lead their communities and countries to a better place, and yet are too often forgotten. I hope my novel helps shed some light on Lucy’s extraordinary life. And with any luck, my 31 Women of March project might open the door of discovery for one of the other thirty women on the list, extraordinary all, and such a small sampling of the wonder of women everywhere. Snippets of each of their lives follow below.