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The Spirit of Isabella Beecher Hooker
Susan Campbell

Garnet Books

2014 • 244 pp. 19 illus. 6 x 9"
Women's Biography / Women's History / American History - 19th Century

$18.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-7597-5
$28.95 Hardcover, 978-0-8195-7340-7

$14.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7388-9

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

Isabella Beecher Hooker was at the heart of 19th-century America, but the abolitionist, suffragette and spiritualist has mostly fallen through the cracks of history. Isabella’s half brother (Henry Ward... [continued in Reviews below]”—Alex Deuben, Biographile

First full-length biography of a key figure in nineteenth-century American culture

Tempest-Tossed is the first full biography of the passionate, fascinating youngest daughter of the “Fabulous Beecher” family—one of America’s most high-powered families of the nineteenth century. Older sister Harriet Beecher Stowe was the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Brother Henry Ward Beecher was one of America’s most influential ministers, and sister Catherine Beecher wrote pivotal works on women’s rights and educational reform. And then there was Isabella Beecher Hooker—“a curiously modern nineteenth-century figure.” She was a leader in the suffrage movement, and a mover and shaker in Hartford’s storied Nook Farm neighborhood and salon. But there is more to the story—to Isabella’s character—than that.

Isabella was an ardent Spiritualist. In daily life, she could be off-putting, perplexing, tenacious, charming. Many found her daunting to get to know and stay on comfortable terms with. Her “wild streak” was especially unfavorable in the eyes of Hartford society at the time, which valued restraint and duty. In her latest book, Susan Campbell brings her own unique blend of empathy and unbridled humor to the story of Harriet’s younger half-sister. Tempest Tossed reveals Isabella’s evolution from orthodox Calvinist daughter, wife, and mother, to one of the most influential players in the movement for women’s suffrage, where this unforgettable woman finally gets her proper due.

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Reviews / Endorsements

Isabella Beecher Hooker was at the heart of 19th-century America, but the abolitionist, suffragette and spiritualist has mostly fallen through the cracks of history. Isabella’s half brother (Henry Ward Beecher) and half-sister (Harriet Beecher Stowe) were two of the most influential figures of their time, and in a family that believed being a Beecher meant something, Isabella could hold her own as an intellectual and activist. If her siblings were key figures of their time, Isabella was a woman ahead of hers.”Alex Deuben, Biographile

“A member of one of the most high-powered American families of the 19th century, Isabella had a ‘wild streak’ that wasn’t favorable in the eyes of a Hartford society that valued restraint and duty. Historian and author Debby Applegate praises Campbell’s work as ‘… the deep research of a born historian and the vibrant, readable prose-style of a veteran journalist.’”Connecticut Explored

“[Tempest Tossed] provides familial, political, and social context to help general readers understand the ways that poker allied with some of the most radical thinkers of [Isabelle Beecher Hooker]’s time, which set her at odds with her family.”—K. Gedge, Choice

“Campbell’s biography … captures the personal and public tensions that kept Hooker in the shadows.”Emily Hodgson Anderson, The Times Literary Supplement

“Campbell’s biography is a fascinating look at the life of an inspiring woman who deserves to be better remembered.”Maine Antique Digest

“Susan Campbell set out on a mission to rescue Isabella Beecher Hooker from relative obscurity. … With such an engaging treatment of [her], one is tempted to say: mission complete, justice served.”—Elizabeth Hohl, Connecticut History Review

“For Isabella Beecher Hooker it was both a blessing and a curse to be born the youngest daughter of one of the most famous families in America. Just when she finally discovered her own calling in the women’s rights movement—working alongside Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Victoria Woodhull—she found herself embroiled in the biggest sex scandal of the 19th century, the trial of her own brother for adultery. Susan Campbell has brought Isabella’s fascinating, forgotten story back to life with the deep research of a born historian and the vibrant, readable prose-style of a veteran journalist.”—Debby Applegate, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher

“With a journalist’s concision and eye for the vivid quote, Susan Campbell captures Isabella Beecher Hooker’s quirky temperament and her passion for women’s rights. This wry and personal narrative is deeply informed, balanced, and a delight to read.”—Joan Hedrick, author of Harriet Beecher Stowe: A Life, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography

“Susan Campbell’s Tempest Tossed is an enthralling portrait of an American lady: a cross between a character out of Edith Wharton, Emily Bronte, and Sigmund Freud. A work as concerned with the spiritual as it is with the material, readers will find themselves swept up in the details of a particular moment in New England history as it reveals the universal themes of human ambition, frustration, despair, and enlightenment. The writing is gloriously readable and the story is cinematic in its scope and in the crisp development of its remarkable characters. This book might break your heart in some places, but it engages and inspires on every page.”—Gina Barreca, author of Babes in Boyland: A Personal History of Coeducation in the Ivy League

SUSAN CAMPBELL is the author of the memoir Dating Jesus: Fundamentalism, Feminism, and the American Girl and coauthor of Connecticut Curiosities. She has appeared on CBS News Sunday Morning, the BBC, and WNPR. Her column about the March 1998 shootings at the Connecticut Lottery headquarters in Newington was part of the Hartford Courant’s Pulitzer Prize–winning coverage of the tragedy. She lives in East Haven, Connecticut.

Fri, 6 Jul 2018 13:31:10 -0500