Blog tour: Hotbed

Welcome to the blog tour for Hotbed by Joanna Scutts!

More about the book…

New York City, 1912. The very idea of feminism is radical and outlandish, but a group of women believe they can change the world. They meet in a bustling Greenwich Village restaurant and give their club a name that enshrines the notion of difference of opinion: Heterodoxy.

Among themselves, the women could talk freely—no topic off limits—and plan their liberation without fear of a man labelling them difficult or strident. The group quickly grew: there were pairs of sisters and pairs of lovers; women entwined by family and marriage; and those who had studied together, worked together, and marched side by side for the vote.

However, the history of Heterodoxy remains elusive. To allow each other space to disagree, the women kept no records of their meetings. In Hotbed, Joanna Scutts unravels the never-before-told story of this secretive, unruly club by exploring the lives of its members. Socialites and socialists; playwrights and scientists; actresses, activists and revolutionaries—these extraordinary, fervent women spearheaded the feminist movement and transformed an international feminist agenda into a modern way of life.

More about the author…

Joanna Scutts is a literary critic, historian and the author of The Extra Woman. She has written for the New York Times, Washington Post and The New Yorker. She has also written a series for the Paris Review, ‘Feminize Your Canon’, exploring the lives of underrated and underread female authors. Raised in London and educated at Cambridge and Sussex universities, she gained her PhD from Columbia University and lives in New York.

My impressions…

Oh my, I am so grateful for all the amazing research that the author has done to bring the Heterodoxy Club alive in these pages. I must admit that I knew nothing of these brilliant women before this book came along and I feel so much richer for it. ‘New York City, 1912’ is now going to be my answer when asked to pick a historical period I’d like to live in.

Three words to describe it. Comprehensive. Striking. Vibrant.

Do I like the cover? Yes, simple and remarkable at the same time.

Have I read any other books by the same author? No, but I’d love to!


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