The woman--and her illicit affair--that rocked Victorian AmericaWhen Madeline Pollard was a teenager, she began an extended affair with the Kentucky Congressman William Breckinridge, one of the most influential men in America. Breckinridge was married, and he once declared women's chastity "the cornerstone of human society." He seduced Pollard, and when his wife died, he ask...
|Title||:||Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the "Powerless" Woman Who Took on Washington|
|Number of Pages||:||384 pages|
Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the "Powerless" Woman Who Took on Washington Reviews
"In the end it wasn't one woman who brought him down, it was all of them."
I cannot recommend this audiobook enough, a superbly-told feminist story that challenges the Victorian sexual double standard for women that echoes through society today.
Read for the 2019 Reading Women Challenge #18: A romance or love story.
“The real combatants, though, were two worldview about women and sex. One was the hierarchical, predatory southern ethic, which held that any woman who wasn’t protected by her father and domestic isolation was fair game and became part of a debauched class necessary to protect the purity of respectable women… The other was the more egalitarian ethic of the western elite- the descendants of the pious but fair minded Puritans that increasingly saw men and women as equals and men as responsible as ...more
A slow burn but a great depiction of a monumental moment in Women’s history
Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the "powerless" Woman Who Took on Washington is just an okay read. I give it three stars.
BRINGING DOWN THE COLONEL is a nonfiction account of Madeline Pollard’s lawsuit against Colonel W.C.P. Breckinridge for abandonment (he had a shotgun marriage with another woman while engaged to Pollard) in 1893. Sadly, DC didn’t have seduction laws, which many other states had at the time. Pollard’s aim is to make Breckinridge have his share of the blame, shame and consequences. This lively account explores a ten year affair that Pollard believed would end in marriage. Instead, it ends will thi ...more
It is odd that Miller uses the spelling “Madeline” instead of “Madeleine,” the spelling Pollard used in documents signed by her own hand. It is a small point, but shouldn’t you spell the name of a historic person the way they themselves spelled their name?
The book is well written and it is a very important tale with a fascinating cast of characters. I know a great deal about the story. I have stood at Pollard's grave, have been in the mansion where she spent the last months of her life and even ...more
A must-read for any one who cares or is interested in women's history.
This book is very well written and has extensive amounts of research in it. From the tragic tale of Maria Halpin to Madeline Pollard’s fight against a society filled with double standards, this book was captivating from start to finish. There are also lots of parallels to today’s society as well. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in reading!