Sisterly Love: Women of Note in Pennsylvania History

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Janet Moore Lindman


This volume is a collection of biographical sketches of seventeen Pennsylvania women who were professionally active from the mid-eighteenth century to the late twentieth century. The variety of their work concerned education, reform, religion, medicine, journalism, business, and the arts. These women range from a Moravian eldress, a Civil War nurse and medical missionary in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, to a computer programmer, social activist, and human resource expert during the twentieth century. While the anthology includes well-known women, such as Fanny Kemble, Ida Tarbell, and Rachel Carson, it aims to include women who have “escaped the analytical gaze of historians” (viii), such as artists (Cecilia Beaux, Violet Oakley), educators (Assisium McEvoy, SSJ, Mary Brooks Picken), and entrepreneurs and activists (Gertrude Hawk and Adrian Barrett, IHM). This book is a product of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Consortium of Higher Education (SEPCHE), a collaborative effort of eight small colleges and universities in the Philadelphia area, most of them Catholic. The editors’ intent is to “evoke amazement, wonder, and pride in women who were anything but ordinary,” with the hope that these women’s stories will serve as “as inspiration for the reader to reach beyond the routine” (viii). The majority of the authors are faculty members at SEPCHE institutions.

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