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Mistress Suffragette

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Author: Diana Forbes

Published: March 5th 2017 by Penmore Press LLC

Format: Kindle Edition , 333 pages

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A young woman without prospects at a ball in Gilded Age Newport, Rhode Island is a target for a certain kind of “suitor.” At the Memorial Day Ball during the Panic of 1893, impoverished but feisty Penelope Stanton draws the unwanted advances of a villainous millionaire banker who preys on distressed women—the incorrigible Edgar Daggers. Over a series of encounters, he p A young woman without prospects at a ball in Gilded Age Newport, Rhode Island is a target for a certain kind of “suitor.” At the Memorial Day Ball during the Panic of 1893, impoverished but feisty Penelope Stanton draws the unwanted advances of a villainous millionaire banker who preys on distressed women—the incorrigible Edgar Daggers. Over a series of encounters, he promises Penelope the financial security she craves, but at what cost? Skilled in the art of flirtation, Edgar is not without his charms, and Penelope is attracted to him against her better judgment. Initially, as Penelope grows into her own in the burgeoning early Women’s Suffrage Movement, Edgar exerts pressure, promising to use his power and access to help her advance. But can he be trusted, or are his words part of an elaborate mind game played between him and his wife? During a glittering age where a woman’s reputation is her most valuable possession, Penelope must decide whether to compromise her principles for love, lust, and the allure of an easier life.

30 review for Mistress Suffragette

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jewel Hart

    During the time of the Gilded Age, we have Penelope Stanton, recently dumped by her fiancée due to her family’s financial hardships. She is attending the Memorial Day ball, destitute but spirited, Penelope draws the attention of the handsome, but nefarious millionaire who takes advantage of troubled women – the unrepentant and married Edgar Daggers. After running into him several times, Edgar begins to promise Penelope the financial security she needs and desires. Penelope can’t resist his charm During the time of the Gilded Age, we have Penelope Stanton, recently dumped by her fiancée due to her family’s financial hardships. She is attending the Memorial Day ball, destitute but spirited, Penelope draws the attention of the handsome, but nefarious millionaire who takes advantage of troubled women – the unrepentant and married Edgar Daggers. After running into him several times, Edgar begins to promise Penelope the financial security she needs and desires. Penelope can’t resist his charms and is very attracted to him, but at what cost? He promises to help her with her advancement in the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Can Penelope trust Edgar? Will she fall captive to his charm and her growing desire for him? Will she compromise herself for a better life with someone she is unsure that she can trust? Will she become his mistress? One must read the book to find out. Mistress Suffragette is a compelling engaging romance story that is unusual and unique in its premise. Author Diana Forbes does an excellent job bringing the Gilded Age, Women’s Suffrage Movement and the 1890’s to life. It is descriptive and beautiful. I couldn’t put it down and read it into the late hours of the night. Diana Forbes has done extremely well writing and portraying history accurately. A lot of pertinent research was put into this engrossing novel. In Mistress Suffragette, the characters are great and well developed with unique personalities and very interesting natures. They are multidimensional and well fleshed out. The main character Penelope is particularly likable, with Edgar Daggers being a very interesting and somewhat ruthless, yet alluring character, in my opinion. I was impressed by the dialog between the characters and the entire story is written with an excellent original voice. The descriptions of everything from the clothes to the scenery are vivid and a delight for the imaginary senses. I reveled in this book for many reasons, but especially because of the descriptive writing. The storyline, plot and characters are woven together beautifully like a tapestry. The ending is satisfying and unpredictable. I loved Mistress Suffragette, and I highly recommend it all historical romance lovers that want a more unique context with interesting settings and circumstances, like in this fabulous engaging story.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Litnigma Reviews

    I love this time period and the author does a great job of bringing the 1890s to life. The writing is descriptive, bringing people, places, and the time period to life. The book is real and the reader is transported to this time period. The book begins with the main character Penelope at the ball after being dumped by her fiancée due to her family's economic hardships. The reader feel compassion for Penelope and realizes that this is just the beginning for this woman journey. The author does a g I love this time period and the author does a great job of bringing the 1890s to life. The writing is descriptive, bringing people, places, and the time period to life. The book is real and the reader is transported to this time period. The book begins with the main character Penelope at the ball after being dumped by her fiancée due to her family's economic hardships. The reader feel compassion for Penelope and realizes that this is just the beginning for this woman journey. The author does a great job developing the characters, some the reader likes others they do not. Penelope's father was a depressing man, which the reader can relate to under the circumstances, but does not help to like the man. Being withdrawn from his family her mother steps in to make most decisions making sure that everyone realizes image is everything, going as far as to let her daughter to enter into a relationship just to maintain her lifestyle and place in society. It is easy to forget reading this book that in today’s society, there was a time that women had little rights. It is hard to believe that women were married off shortly after puberty and considered and old maid at 20. I loved all the historical references to the National Woman Suffrage Association in New York, but could have done without Edgar Daggers' character who I found despicable and a user. How he uses of Penelope getting her becoming his mistress in exchange for all the riches, I found repulsive, not surprising for that time period. Overall the book is well written, the flow is well paced and I would recommend this book to anyone who likes that time period. Also I think this book would make for a great BBC series..

  3. 5 out of 5

    Grady

    ‘Corsets have filled as many graves as whisky.’ Mary Livermore, Suffragist Leader, 1892 Manhattan author Diana Forbes is a literary archeologist, a ninth-generation American with ancestors on both sides of the Civil War. She writes historical fiction and is passionate about old New York, ancestry, untold stories, vintage clothing, antique furniture, and vows to master the quadrille in her lifetime! MISTRESS SUFFRAGETTE is her debut novel, but prior to publication the novel won first place in the ‘Corsets have filled as many graves as whisky.’ Mary Livermore, Suffragist Leader, 1892 Manhattan author Diana Forbes is a literary archeologist, a ninth-generation American with ancestors on both sides of the Civil War. She writes historical fiction and is passionate about old New York, ancestry, untold stories, vintage clothing, antique furniture, and vows to master the quadrille in her lifetime! MISTRESS SUFFRAGETTE is her debut novel, but prior to publication the novel won first place in the Missouri Romance Writers of America (RWA) “Gateway to the Best” contest in Women’s Fiction and was a Wisconsin Romance Writers of America (RWA) “Fab Five” finalist in Women’s Fiction. Approaching a first novel from a fresh author is enhanced when the author offers her own notes on the book: ‘The Panic of 1893 was the greatest depression in the United States before the Great Depression. Overnight, banks shuttered, companies failed, and the government floundered. People lost their livelihoods. Family fortunes, meticulously amassed over generations, vanished faster than wisps of smoke. 1893 was also a watershed year for this country due to the confluence of the Chicago Exposition and a surge of new interest in the American Women’s Suffrage Movement. In 1893, Colorado adopted woman’s suffrage. With the Progressive Movement now in full bloom, women from all classes and backgrounds started to enter public life. Certain real-life events were moved back in time in my novel so that the narrative could all take place during this pivotal year. For example, the women’s suffrage parade in New York City actually occurred later while the newspaper-burning incident never happened’ etc.’ She brings us into her circle of knowledge and offers a summary of her work that will encourage a large audience Synopsis: ‘A young woman without prospects at a ball in Gilded Age Newport, Rhode Island is a target for a certain kind of “suitor.” At the Memorial Day Ball during the Panic of 1893, impoverished but feisty Penelope Stanton draws the unwanted advances of a villainous millionaire banker who preys on distressed women—the incorrigible Edgar Daggers. Over a series of encounters, he promises Penelope the financial security she craves, but at what cost? Skilled in the art of flirtation, Edgar is not without his charms, and Penelope is attracted to him against her better judgment. Initially, as Penelope grows into her own in the burgeoning early Women’s Suffrage Movement, Edgar exerts pressure, promising to use his power and access to help her advance. But can he be trusted, or are his words part of an elaborate mind game played between him and his wife? During a glittering age where a woman’s reputation is her most valuable possession, Penelope must decide whether to compromise her principles for love, lust, and the allure of an easier life.’ But the true favor of her blend of history and fiction is evident from page one – ‘Tuesday, May 30, 1893, Newport, Rhode Island Imagine being sent to a party with a gun pointed at your head. You might look bewitching; you might wear a proper pale blue gown, with its gathered skirt and off-the-shoulder neckline. You might sport the perfect pair of ivory silk ballroom slippers. Your fiery hair might be dressed in coils and feminine curls. But inside, underneath the pleats and the padding, knowing about your father’s possible ruin, I bet you’d feel frightened. You might believe this to be your last party. You might sense your short life flash before your eyes— the leisurely days of riding horses till your thighs ached, the long nights of preparing French verb conjugations till your fingers cramped up, or helping the Ladies Auxiliary return stray cats to their owners. Try as you might to shut your eyes to the hard facts, to the sudden unmooring of your destiny, you’d know that when friends asked how you were faring, you wouldn’t say much, hoping you might get by with some idle pleasantries or banalities about the weather. So you can imagine how it was for me as our carriage crunched up the driveway to the first party of the season: the Memorial Day Ball.’ Writing of this quality is rare and it serves as a very welcome debut for Diana Forbes who is writing about subjects that could not be more current!

  4. 5 out of 5

    KarynH

    “Clip Clop. Clip Clop. Even her horse had impeccable manners” I always love it when a story combines history with humor. The author Diana Forbes presents us the best of the 1890’s in a story form. This novel looks at many things including love and romance and black magic, as well as casts a light on the values of the society at the time of the story’s setting. This book also used the character, Penelope Stanton, to look at how events can change the life of a woman over time. This is particularly “Clip Clop. Clip Clop. Even her horse had impeccable manners” I always love it when a story combines history with humor. The author Diana Forbes presents us the best of the 1890’s in a story form. This novel looks at many things including love and romance and black magic, as well as casts a light on the values of the society at the time of the story’s setting. This book also used the character, Penelope Stanton, to look at how events can change the life of a woman over time. This is particularly an important point due to the fact that it is very relative to us. Downline the novel, she meets Mr. Daggers who was insistent in her becoming his mistress. She always found a way of dealing with his advances towards her. Mr. Daggers had a really bad domineering attitude. This book also looks at a point where women either gets married after puberty or be forced under the care of a man. From point to point I was forced to stop reading and check the historical facts contained in this book. This is certainly a nice and engaging book. The author draws us to a point in Chicago when the city was growing up technologically. I was amazed when the author pointed it out that the zipper and electric street lights were invented in Chicago. I had to stop once again to check the facts. I learned a lot from this book. It’s a perfect blend of fiction and history and as such suitable for general reading. However, I had some hard feeling about the fact that Lydia was going to be forced into marriage at a young age of 15 to save her family. This seems strange but still, we still have these things happening even in our modern world today.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Davies

    Mistress Suffragette follows the plight of Penelope as she struggles with the societal pressure, the feelings of dissatisfaction and her own dreams and desires to be seen as more then "someone's wife". Beautifully written this novel drums up reminiscence of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, but set in America we get the story from the other side of the pond - one much less discussed in modern society but no less important. Diana Forbes has managed to create a world of characters so brilliantly i Mistress Suffragette follows the plight of Penelope as she struggles with the societal pressure, the feelings of dissatisfaction and her own dreams and desires to be seen as more then "someone's wife". Beautifully written this novel drums up reminiscence of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, but set in America we get the story from the other side of the pond - one much less discussed in modern society but no less important. Diana Forbes has managed to create a world of characters so brilliantly intelligent and real that you feel you're taking every step of the journey with Penelope, experiencing her ups and down along with her and desperately hoping that she can achieve all that she hopes to. Forbes brings you full force into Penelope's world, nothing feels forced or contrived, instead it feels as though written by someone who lived this very life, leaving you turning page after page hungry for more of her story. All of the surrounding characters are incredibly authentic and genuine. I would recommend this to any fan of classical literature, and it also does a wonderful job of still feeling relevant in today's society. A genuinely exciting and beautifully written novel.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Absolute Lit

    In the United States in 1893 changes were taking place. Financial, social and societal changes were starting to transform the country and the world. This book expertly brings that time to life immediately from the opening line, “Imagine being sent to a party with a gun pointed at your head”. Diana Forbes cannot be faulted for her unending attention to period detail. The story centers on a young woman navigating the intricacies of life and adapting to the changes in her own life and more broadly. In the United States in 1893 changes were taking place. Financial, social and societal changes were starting to transform the country and the world. This book expertly brings that time to life immediately from the opening line, “Imagine being sent to a party with a gun pointed at your head”. Diana Forbes cannot be faulted for her unending attention to period detail. The story centers on a young woman navigating the intricacies of life and adapting to the changes in her own life and more broadly. She discovers the suffragist movement at the same time as she is beginning to understand how distinct expectations of gender have very real consequences. She has a very definite mind of her own and distinctly dislikes the way women are subjugated, but the author marries the character’s disdain with dry humor and a sense of vulnerability that add up to make her a well-rounded protagonist. All in all – a very good read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nirvarnia

    With great attention to detail paid to both setting, and historical accuracy, Forbes entices the reader into the world of Penelope, a suffragette living in Rhode Island, American during the early 19th century. I feel that I know a good deal about what happened with the suffragette movement in England, and votes for women, so it was interesting to read about things from a different perspective. Penelope's story encapsulates the struggle of a young woman fighting her cause against societal repress With great attention to detail paid to both setting, and historical accuracy, Forbes entices the reader into the world of Penelope, a suffragette living in Rhode Island, American during the early 19th century. I feel that I know a good deal about what happened with the suffragette movement in England, and votes for women, so it was interesting to read about things from a different perspective. Penelope's story encapsulates the struggle of a young woman fighting her cause against societal repression, and gender expectation. You don't need to be a feminist to appreciate that the treatment of women at the time the book is set was appalling, and Forbe's highlights this from the beginning. I found myself wanting to join forces with Penelope and fight for what was right. An excellent read that had me gripped and emotionally involved.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ella James

    Mistress Suffragette by Diana Forbes is a fascinating historical fiction novel filled with romance and intrigue. This is an award winning novel written by an exemplary author, Diana Forbes. It is set in the Victorian era, during the time of the women’s Suffrage movement, the panic of 1893 and the Gilded Age. The women’s Suffrage movement was set up to give women the right to vote. Diana Forbes beautifully brings to life this glorious, yet desperate time in history with detail and historical accu Mistress Suffragette by Diana Forbes is a fascinating historical fiction novel filled with romance and intrigue. This is an award winning novel written by an exemplary author, Diana Forbes. It is set in the Victorian era, during the time of the women’s Suffrage movement, the panic of 1893 and the Gilded Age. The women’s Suffrage movement was set up to give women the right to vote. Diana Forbes beautifully brings to life this glorious, yet desperate time in history with detail and historical accuracy. In this story we have one Penelope Stanton, a young woman who has been jilted by her fiancé and left alone. But, she soon finds purpose to her life when she joins the women’s Suffrage movement where she rises to the top and becomes a leader in the organization. All the while she is fending off the advances of Edgar Daggers, a married man, womanizer and a benefactor. However, she is drawn toward him and can barely contain her desire for him as he adamantly pursues her and wants her to become his mistress. Will Penelope give in to her misgivings and lust for this man? This is a must read, 5 star novel written by award winning author Diana Forbes. Mistress Suffragette by Diana Forbes is an incredible debut novel that stands out from the rest. This fabulous novel has it all, impeccable writing, captivating storyline, and unforgettable characters that are both realistic and relatable. Mistress Suffragette is a flawless work of fiction that will captivate and engage readers from the very first chapter as they are thrust back in time into a world of beauty and tumultuous societal and political times. The characters are fully developed and memorable. The descriptive writing engages all of the reader’s imaginary senses and puts readers on the scene. The storyline and plot are compelling, engrossing and fully entertaining with unexpected revelations, intense romantic moments and real to life scenarios. Filled with passion, charming characters, fanciful settings and factual historical events, readers will love Mistress Suffragette. I highly recommend it all avid historical fiction readers.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Pegboard

    It was a new and promising time for women at the end of the 1800’s, and this suited Penelope Stanton perfectly. She had just been dumped by her fiancé, no matter that he was her cousin, but theirs was to be a marriage by alliance in his eyes anyway. She no longer had the financial connections now that her father’s business was suffering from the Panic of that era. Plus, she did not possess the desire to teach or get suitable employment to help her parents out of their crisis. What Penelope is doi It was a new and promising time for women at the end of the 1800’s, and this suited Penelope Stanton perfectly. She had just been dumped by her fiancé, no matter that he was her cousin, but theirs was to be a marriage by alliance in his eyes anyway. She no longer had the financial connections now that her father’s business was suffering from the Panic of that era. Plus, she did not possess the desire to teach or get suitable employment to help her parents out of their crisis. What Penelope is doing well was speak out for the modern woman. Through her study of women suffrage she learned that her sister’s fiancé was planning on securing Lydia’s assets for himself. Divorce would have left her homeless and without an income, fortunately Penelope was able to expose the imposter before further destruction to their family life. But speaking out for women is almost as dangerous as flirting with Edwin. A married man who claims to love her, but he may just love the chase. Diana Forbes paints a colorful picture of what life could have been like for women during this era in America. Women willing to take a stand while men were willing to take advantage of those freedoms.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Stoeckel

    ( Disclaimer: I won this book from GoodReads and the publisher) “Never toast your enemies. It accords them too much power” Penelope Stanton, oldest of two daughters of Newport scion Phillip Stanton, is caught between the old order and the new age. As the panic of 1893 comes crashing in, it leads the way for suffrage and abolitionist outcry that drown out the once Gilded Age of money equally power in a chess game where the children become the game pieces in keeping things solvent. Spurred by her fir ( Disclaimer: I won this book from GoodReads and the publisher) “Never toast your enemies. It accords them too much power” Penelope Stanton, oldest of two daughters of Newport scion Phillip Stanton, is caught between the old order and the new age. As the panic of 1893 comes crashing in, it leads the way for suffrage and abolitionist outcry that drown out the once Gilded Age of money equally power in a chess game where the children become the game pieces in keeping things solvent. Spurred by her first beau in part because of the downtrend in finances, Penelope becomes what at first she abhorred: a Suffragette. Intelligent enough to find her voice as well as her abilities, she breaks out of the mound to become one who rallies for justice across the board. “Literary archeologist” Diana Forbes pens this look at the revolution and change in the lives of women in the late 1800s with spark and a “joie de vive” that is easily caught the deeper one gets into this story. Recommended.

  11. 4 out of 5

    NicCole

    Following a young woman’s journey as she discovers the world on her own. Although Penelope P. Stanton had lived a life with her parents and younger sister, she soon realizes that her worth is dependent on saving her father’s dying business by whatever means necessary. Learning this, amongst the way the current men she’s encountered in her life, leads her to believe men could very well be just using women for their gains. In “Mistress Suffragette,” author Diana Forbes shows her readers that women Following a young woman’s journey as she discovers the world on her own. Although Penelope P. Stanton had lived a life with her parents and younger sister, she soon realizes that her worth is dependent on saving her father’s dying business by whatever means necessary. Learning this, amongst the way the current men she’s encountered in her life, leads her to believe men could very well be just using women for their gains. In “Mistress Suffragette,” author Diana Forbes shows her readers that women empowerment is worth fighting for, if no one else respects you, then you should have self-respect for yourself. It’s liberating in the sense that Penelope will gain more lessons of the world actually exploring her options and choosing the life she wants to live. I recommend this book to women especially, it encourages us to believe that we can and will lead a better life for ourselves if we explore opportunities that don’t defile our principles, morals, and beliefs.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Kester

    Diana Forbes takes us on Penelope Stanton’s journey during the Gilded Age to fight for women’s rights. While trying to fight for the rights of women though, Penelope must also fight off the advances of Edgar Daggers, an obnoxious millionaire who is known for his flirtatious ways. As she works hard to ignore them she also has to fight against some feelings she has for him. However, when Penelope learns that Edgar is willing to help her in the women’s suffrage movement she has to decide whether he Diana Forbes takes us on Penelope Stanton’s journey during the Gilded Age to fight for women’s rights. While trying to fight for the rights of women though, Penelope must also fight off the advances of Edgar Daggers, an obnoxious millionaire who is known for his flirtatious ways. As she works hard to ignore them she also has to fight against some feelings she has for him. However, when Penelope learns that Edgar is willing to help her in the women’s suffrage movement she has to decide whether he’s being truthful or just trying to use her. This novel is very interesting and gives a great perspective into the early women’s suffrage movements. Forbes developed all of her characters very well which helps the reader to connect more with them. It’s about 333 pages long, but it’s such an engrossing story that you’ll fly right through it. If you’re into historical fiction and romance, this book is definitely one you should check out.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anastasiia

    The story takes us in 1890’s years, when there were completely different rules and customs, but from how the author Diana Forbes described that time, I wanted to read more. The reader meets the main character of the book - the young Penelope Stanton, by the example of which, I understood how hard her life was. Penelope is desperate in searching of her husband, she goes to the ball to looking for her fiancé and there she met a man who influenced her life, his name is Edgar Daggers. An influential The story takes us in 1890’s years, when there were completely different rules and customs, but from how the author Diana Forbes described that time, I wanted to read more. The reader meets the main character of the book - the young Penelope Stanton, by the example of which, I understood how hard her life was. Penelope is desperate in searching of her husband, she goes to the ball to looking for her fiancé and there she met a man who influenced her life, his name is Edgar Daggers. An influential and wealthy man, having learned the financial difficulties of her family, decided to offer her to be his mistress, while Edgar’s wife didn’t mind. However, Penelope had a question, what to do? Be in poverty or agree to the proposal of a married man? Excellent reading that will not leave the reader indifferent. I really enjoyed it and I want to advise you to read the Mistress Suffragette.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chukwudi O.

    An absolutely, absolutely admirable book to engage with. Author Diana Forbes choice of the title “Mistress Suffragette” does nothing to reveal the absolutely, splendid contents drafted within its covers! A cursory glance at the title could lead to an erroneous assumption that the book is rife with content on the female gender and possibly, feminism. That thought couldn’t be any further from the truth! Set in the era of the medieval, when prospective brides attended ballroom dances in order to be An absolutely, absolutely admirable book to engage with. Author Diana Forbes choice of the title “Mistress Suffragette” does nothing to reveal the absolutely, splendid contents drafted within its covers! A cursory glance at the title could lead to an erroneous assumption that the book is rife with content on the female gender and possibly, feminism. That thought couldn’t be any further from the truth! Set in the era of the medieval, when prospective brides attended ballroom dances in order to be ‘on display’ for corresponding grooms, Diana Forbes tells a story that is engaging and enticing, the reader would yearn for the experience of living during this period. Gear up, as you embark on the adventure of a lifetime, trailing the steps of main character, Penelope Stanton. Mistress Suffragette is a remarkable example of a story well told, there are simply not enough words to describe how well written!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kickass Reads

    Wow! Penelope is such a great character it was hard to see the story end. Diana Forbes really captures the struggles of this character and time. One of my favorite things of this story is how vivid and real the time period seems. The research Forbes did alone must have been extensive. The story starts off with a sort of romantic tragedy befalling our beloved Penelope: her engagement is called off. This, couple with the social and economical consequences of her family losing their fortune, become Wow! Penelope is such a great character it was hard to see the story end. Diana Forbes really captures the struggles of this character and time. One of my favorite things of this story is how vivid and real the time period seems. The research Forbes did alone must have been extensive. The story starts off with a sort of romantic tragedy befalling our beloved Penelope: her engagement is called off. This, couple with the social and economical consequences of her family losing their fortune, becomes the catalyst for Penelope’s adventure. The pressure from family, and circumstance, really come to life and push Penelope toward goals that weren’t necessarily hers. She eventually is able to free herself from the fetters of family and starts living her life as a suffragette. Overall, an A+ story written by a skilled writer.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Emerson

    Mistress Suffragette is a thrilling story about a young girl whom history has given very few choices. After Penelope's father's business fails and her fiance leaves her, she finds that she must take care of herself. Edgar Daggers offers her security and passion if she becomes his mistress, but she will have to give up her reputation. I liked following Penelope because of how strong of a person she is. Despite her situation, she takes control of her life. She is also a relatable person with flaws Mistress Suffragette is a thrilling story about a young girl whom history has given very few choices. After Penelope's father's business fails and her fiance leaves her, she finds that she must take care of herself. Edgar Daggers offers her security and passion if she becomes his mistress, but she will have to give up her reputation. I liked following Penelope because of how strong of a person she is. Despite her situation, she takes control of her life. She is also a relatable person with flaws. She lusts over the man she knows she shouldn't want and is afraid of the changing world. The look at the suffragette movement is also an interesting view of history. The book is exciting, has an in-depth world, and shows the struggle of being a female in history. I very much enjoyed this book and would recommend it to lovers of historical fiction and romance.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Luis Humberto Molinar Márquez

    [English review + Reseña en Español] Mistress Suffragette, by Diana Forbes. Published by Penmore Press, LLC. 2017. 333 pages. Genre: Historical Romance / Political Fiction. In the midst of the "golden era" of the United States of America (a period after the Civil War and Reconstruction in which the country experienced an unprecedented economic, industrial and demographic expansion, but also great social and economic conflict), the country is entering a serious economic depression that would later [English review + Reseña en Español] Mistress Suffragette, by Diana Forbes. Published by Penmore Press, LLC. 2017. 333 pages. Genre: Historical Romance / Political Fiction. In the midst of the "golden era" of the United States of America (a period after the Civil War and Reconstruction in which the country experienced an unprecedented economic, industrial and demographic expansion, but also great social and economic conflict), the country is entering a serious economic depression that would later be called “The Panic of 1893”. The Stantons, an upper middle class family from Newport, Rhode Island, are urged to marry their daughters to get them out of economic trouble. The banker and predator of distressed damsels Edgar Daggers offers a promising job to Penelope, whom he harasses insistently, despite being a married man. The girl's parents insist that the deal is the best thing that could have happened to them, but Penelope feels trapped between the illusion of love, the economic pressure and the fear of losing her reputation. Trying to take distance, Penelope gets involved in the Boston Women's Suffrage Movement, and in it she finds a new goal that’s in direct conflict with her system of values. This book is the fictionalized diary of a young lady who undertakes the unorthodox path of female suffrage, and whose goals are: to make women "put on their pants", become financially independent and knowledgeable about the laws that involve them, and get (of course) the right to vote. Penelope's story is very interesting and the plot is full of romance, history, wisdom ("I'm a pacifist, I said. —You still have to fight for what is right. It's called leadership.") and it's also very funny. As if that were not enough, the book is surprisingly well documented and contextualized: from the artistic moment (the Ashcan painting school), the details of the women's suffrage movement, the post-fire Boston environment and the technological advances of the time (the typewriter with vertical mechanical action, the bicycle variants) to the weather events of the period, such as the hurricane of 1893. I highly recommend this book. It is perfectly well written and edited, and both the characters and the plot have been sculpted with great detail and care. Mistress Suffragette is one of those books that are read with pleasure, enjoyed with a smile and that leave a very good "taste in the mouth." --------- Mistress Suffragette, por Diana Forbes. Publicada por Penmore Press, LLC. 2017. 333 páginas. Género: Romance Histórico / Ficción política. En medio de la “era dorada” de los Estados Unidos de América (un período después de la Guerra de Secesión y de la Reconstrucción en que el país conoció una expansión económica, industrial y demográfica sin precedentes, pero también un gran conflicto social y económico), el país está entrando en una seria depresión económica que más tarde sería llamada “El Pánico de 1893”. A los Stanton, familia de clase media alta de Newport, Rhode Island, les urge casar a sus hijas para que los saquen del apuro económico. El banquero y predador de damiselas afligidas Edgar Daggers ofrece un promisorio empleo a Penélope, a quien acosa con insistencia a pesar de ser casado. Los padres de la chica insisten en que el trato es lo mejor que les ha podido pasar, pero Penélope se siente atrapada entre la ilusión del amor, la presión económica y el temor a perder su reputación. Tratando de tomar distancia, Penélope se involucra en el Movimiento Sufragista de Mujeres de Boston, y en él encuentra una nueva meta en conflicto directo con su sistema de valores. Este libro es el diario ficcionalizado de una joven dama que emprende el poco ortodoxo camino del sufragismo femenino, cuyas metas consisten en hacer que las mujeres "se pongan los pantalones", se vuelvan financieramente independientes y conocedoras de las leyes que las involucran, y consigan (desde luego) el derecho al voto. La historia de Penélope es interesantísima y la trama está llena de romance, historia, sabiduría ("I'm a pacifist, I said. —You still have to fight for what is right. It's called leadership.") y además es muy divertida. Por si fuera poco, el libro está sorprendentemente bien documentado y contextualizado: desde el momento artístico (la escuela de pintura Ashcan), los detalles del movimiento sufragista femenino, el entorno bostoniano post-incendio y los avances tecnológicos de la época (la máquina de escribir de acción mecánica vertical, las variantes de la bicicleta) hasta los eventos meteorológicos del periodo, como el huracán de 1893. Este libro es altamente recomendable. Está perfectamente bien escrito y editado, y tanto los personajes como la trama han sido esculpidos con gran detalle y cuidado. Mistress Suffragette es uno de esos libros que se leen con gusto, se disfrutan con una sonrisa y que dejan muy buen “sabor de boca”.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lust for Lit

    Not only was ‘Mistress Suffragette’ a captivating story but I learned a lot of really interesting things about the 1890s. I’d be tempted to think of this book as almost a ‘nonfiction novel’, given the amount of educational material it provides. Young women were seen very much as ornamental and extremely constraining expectations were placed upon them – physically, emotionally and socially. The story begins at a ball, where all these constraints are in full effect. Escaping the confines of her fa Not only was ‘Mistress Suffragette’ a captivating story but I learned a lot of really interesting things about the 1890s. I’d be tempted to think of this book as almost a ‘nonfiction novel’, given the amount of educational material it provides. Young women were seen very much as ornamental and extremely constraining expectations were placed upon them – physically, emotionally and socially. The story begins at a ball, where all these constraints are in full effect. Escaping the confines of her family, who she feels have betrayed her best interests, the main character, Penelope, finds herself amidst a gathering of Suffragettes, where, finally she finds her voice and has an appreciative audience too. The story largely concerns Penelope’s family life and love life amid the backdrop of women’s dress reform being introduced and Penelope’s newly discovered talent and career in public speaking. 10 out of 10, Diana Forbes!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Julius Blitzy

    The story takes us in 1890’s years, when there were completely different rules and customs, but from how the author Diana Forbes described that time, I wanted to read more. The reader meets the main character of the book - the young Penelope Stanton, by the example of which, I understood how hard her life was. Penelope is desperate in searching of her husband, she goes to the ball to looking for her fiancé and there she met a man who influenced her life, his name is Edgar Daggers. An influential The story takes us in 1890’s years, when there were completely different rules and customs, but from how the author Diana Forbes described that time, I wanted to read more. The reader meets the main character of the book - the young Penelope Stanton, by the example of which, I understood how hard her life was. Penelope is desperate in searching of her husband, she goes to the ball to looking for her fiancé and there she met a man who influenced her life, his name is Edgar Daggers. An influential and wealthy man, having learned the financial difficulties of her family, decided to offer her to be his mistress, while Edgar’s wife didn’t mind. However, Penelope had a question, what to do? Be in poverty or agree to the proposal of a married man? Excellent reading that will not leave the reader indifferent. I really enjoyed it and I want to advise you to read the Mistress Suffragette.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Stephen R.

    Reading this book is really going to take you back to the 1890s, so if you enjoy stories that are not only compelling but also historically accurate, it’s going to be right up your alley. Penelope, the main character, is a young girl who becomes caught up in the customs and beliefs of the 19th century society as her future marriage falls apart before it even has a chance to be registered. Penelope’s family loses their fortune due to a major economic crisis, and she is no longer a desired bride f Reading this book is really going to take you back to the 1890s, so if you enjoy stories that are not only compelling but also historically accurate, it’s going to be right up your alley. Penelope, the main character, is a young girl who becomes caught up in the customs and beliefs of the 19th century society as her future marriage falls apart before it even has a chance to be registered. Penelope’s family loses their fortune due to a major economic crisis, and she is no longer a desired bride for her fiancé. Since her chances for another engagement and marriage are extremely low, she immediately becomes a target for flirting and sexual advances from married men who want her as their mistress. Penelope even succumbs to have a relationship with one of them, but she eventually becomes disillusioned and joins suffragette movement to prevent other young girls from suffering a fate like hers and to give them fuller, happier lives.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    As the title suggests, this book is centered around the Suffragette movement, but it's so much more than that. As you read about the thoughts, experiences and feels that the central protagonist Penelope has, you become utterly absorbed. I really loved the accurate historical context of the setting for this book, the rising of the suffragette movement in America. Whilst it may not be a strict stoic feminist read, it is about the exploits of a girl who become a woman, and learns the importance of As the title suggests, this book is centered around the Suffragette movement, but it's so much more than that. As you read about the thoughts, experiences and feels that the central protagonist Penelope has, you become utterly absorbed. I really loved the accurate historical context of the setting for this book, the rising of the suffragette movement in America. Whilst it may not be a strict stoic feminist read, it is about the exploits of a girl who become a woman, and learns the importance of making choices for herself. You feel the heartache that she goes through, as well as the anger and frustration in terms of how she and the women around her were viewed by the menfolk. But what I really enjoyed was the tenderness in the telling of her story and the subtle intricate details about life back then. An absolutely fantastic read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Reader Views

    Reviewed by Juliana Leal for Readers Views (05/17) “Mistress Suffragette” by Diana Forbes is a wonderful and detailed journey that takes you back in time to the late 19th Century Gilded Age (1870-1900). It is a vivid story that merges romance, fiction, and historical events that took place during that age. Diana Forbes’ fascinating descriptions of the time and characters will make you feel you are right there witnessing all the events. Set in Newport, Rhode Island, Manhattan, and Boston, this nov Reviewed by Juliana Leal for Readers Views (05/17) “Mistress Suffragette” by Diana Forbes is a wonderful and detailed journey that takes you back in time to the late 19th Century Gilded Age (1870-1900). It is a vivid story that merges romance, fiction, and historical events that took place during that age. Diana Forbes’ fascinating descriptions of the time and characters will make you feel you are right there witnessing all the events. Set in Newport, Rhode Island, Manhattan, and Boston, this novel will captivate your imagination from beginning to the end. Penelope Stanton is a young woman who is drawn into the early Women’s Suffrage Movement in the U.S., to find empowerment and a voice in an age where women were not treated equally under the law. During this time she struggles with numerous challenges, from her father´s bankruptcy and an overbearing mother who wants to find her the right marriage prospect ($$), to an eccentric group of friends and a society that is facing the markets crash of the panic of 1893 (a nationwide depression). She also encounters a wealthy suitor (Edgar Daggers) who preys on distressed women and is not at all interested in women’s rights, but promises her financial security. The most valuable asset of women in these times was their reputation, so Penelope Stanton will have to consider all her struggles and yet do what she really wants to do with her life. This novel will give you insight into the incredible courage of the early Suffragettes and the importance of equal rights. “Mistress Suffragette” by Diana Forbes is filled with exquisite’s details about that period in time, with a realistic storyline, and genuine characters. It is a fantastic and highly recommended read for anyone who wants to know more about that point in history and who loves tales of romance, fictional, and historical events.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Shanell Meek

    A fun mix of history and fiction Diana Forbes managed to write a fun and witty historical novel that I believe is very close to how things were during the suffrage movement. Penelope is living on the cusp of a women’s movement but she is still stuck in a time when women are expected to marry or considered spinsters before they’re in their late 20’s! Penelope is struggling with finding a husband in the wake of her fathers company going bankrupt, leaving her without a dowry to offer an interested s A fun mix of history and fiction Diana Forbes managed to write a fun and witty historical novel that I believe is very close to how things were during the suffrage movement. Penelope is living on the cusp of a women’s movement but she is still stuck in a time when women are expected to marry or considered spinsters before they’re in their late 20’s! Penelope is struggling with finding a husband in the wake of her fathers company going bankrupt, leaving her without a dowry to offer an interested suitor. Forbes does a brilliant job building her characters into likable or not so likable personalities. One can’t help but root for young Penelope as she trudges through life, dealing with loss and triumphs as they come. I love that even though this is fiction, Forbes has managed to sneak in some very real history regarding the suffrage movement. She did an all around wonderful job on this one!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Only the Best Books

    If you are a fan of period drams, then you are sure to love 'Mistress Suffragette' by Diana Forbes. Set in the late 19th Century, the story focuses on Penelope Stanton – a poor woman with dreams of financial security and happiness. She catches the eye of millionaire Edgar Dagger, who seems charming at first, but has darkness lurking beneath the surface. He promises her a better life, and to use his power to support the Suffragette movement with which she has become deeply involved. Do Edgar's ac If you are a fan of period drams, then you are sure to love 'Mistress Suffragette' by Diana Forbes. Set in the late 19th Century, the story focuses on Penelope Stanton – a poor woman with dreams of financial security and happiness. She catches the eye of millionaire Edgar Dagger, who seems charming at first, but has darkness lurking beneath the surface. He promises her a better life, and to use his power to support the Suffragette movement with which she has become deeply involved. Do Edgar's action come with good intentions, or is Penelope just plaything for him to manipulate? 'Mistress Suffragette' is an accomplished debut novel, which really captures the foreboding atmosphere of 'The Panic of 1983', as well as the excitement and defiance of the women's Suffragette Movement. You will struggle to find period fiction that is better researched and as immersive as Diana Forbes'. She writes with real emotion, bringing her characters to life, and tackles a challenging subject with real honesty. A great read from start to finish.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    This book has everything. Engaging and intriguing characters, a time setting that is beautifully described and inhabited, a frenetic and interesting plot. The title is slightly misleading, and really doesn’t do the book itself justice. However, the second you get past the title you’ll be hooked. The second I read the opening sentence my interest was piqued. I was hooked. Then, after that I just grew more and more in love with the characters and plot. Diana Forbes has does something admirable here This book has everything. Engaging and intriguing characters, a time setting that is beautifully described and inhabited, a frenetic and interesting plot. The title is slightly misleading, and really doesn’t do the book itself justice. However, the second you get past the title you’ll be hooked. The second I read the opening sentence my interest was piqued. I was hooked. Then, after that I just grew more and more in love with the characters and plot. Diana Forbes has does something admirable here. Instead of making caricatures of an older late 19th century age, she inhabits the world with functioning and dimensioned characters. They appear to be human in their emotions and their intentions. It doesn’t feel like someone looking back and creating what they think people at that time were like. Instead it feels like it was written at that time and in that place. It’s certainly impressive in how the first-person perspective is managed too. Penelope is believable and never says or thinks anything out of place or dissonant with the time period. Not only this but the influence of Jane Austen and the Brontës is instantly clear. This helps the books foundation and plotting, as it feels like reading something decades old. Yet what gives it an edge over other historical fictions isn’t just its use of past influences, it’s also the deeper understanding of humanity and psychology that we have in this day and age. With this, Forbes can humanise the characters in a fulfilling way. Its biggest success is where it treads the line between the literature of the past and the literature of the present. Because of all this the characters can act and react in impressively nuanced ways, and a modern scientific understanding counterpoints a 19th century America one beautifully, but never feels tongue in cheek or ironic. Diana Forbes has created something that is not only beautifully written, but also plays out beautifully before your very eyes.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mari García

    Great Novel About a Woman’s Path to Independence During The Gilded Age Penelope’s family is desperate for her to find a husband. Her father lost his fortune during the Panic, so they need someone to finance them. Penelope’s mother forces her to attend the event of the season, Memorial Day Ball. She catches the eye of Mr. Daggers, who is a married womanizer. He makes an indecent proposal to Penelope. She declines and runs away to Boston with her best friend named Lucinda. Once in Boston, Penelope a Great Novel About a Woman’s Path to Independence During The Gilded Age Penelope’s family is desperate for her to find a husband. Her father lost his fortune during the Panic, so they need someone to finance them. Penelope’s mother forces her to attend the event of the season, Memorial Day Ball. She catches the eye of Mr. Daggers, who is a married womanizer. He makes an indecent proposal to Penelope. She declines and runs away to Boston with her best friend named Lucinda. Once in Boston, Penelope accidentally becomes involved in the Women’s Right Movement. Verdana, a feisty suffragist who wears the horrendous bloomers, helps her become independent. Problem is Mr. Daggers reappears in Penelope’s life. She will find herself needing to choose between her calling and finding love. This is a great romance and historical fiction novel about a woman becoming independent during the Gilded Age in the United States. Discusses the Women’s Rights Movement and women’s status in society at the time. I highly recommend it to fans of romance and historical fiction novels.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cup and Saucer

    Miss Suffragette by Diana Forbes is a really interesting and unique piece of period drama writing. It really hits the mark when describing the plight of women in the 19th century when they were considered second class citizens at the mercy of men. Penelope Stanton feels like she has found an element of freedom when the charming and rich Edgar Dagger sets his sights on her. But, there is more to Edgar than meets the eye. Does this seemingly perfect man have an ulterior motive for wanting to join Miss Suffragette by Diana Forbes is a really interesting and unique piece of period drama writing. It really hits the mark when describing the plight of women in the 19th century when they were considered second class citizens at the mercy of men. Penelope Stanton feels like she has found an element of freedom when the charming and rich Edgar Dagger sets his sights on her. But, there is more to Edgar than meets the eye. Does this seemingly perfect man have an ulterior motive for wanting to join Penelope in the Suffrage movement? What secrets is he keeping? Forbes’ debut novel is really well-written, with a plot that effortlessly takes you back to another time. Miss Suffragette is not usually the sort of book I would read, but I’m definitely glad I gave it a go.

  28. 4 out of 5

    S.

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I can't continue reading this cringe-worthy book. This book has little things that indicate that J know more about the era (1890s) than does the author. First of all, the title: this is set in the United States, where calling suffragists "suffragettes" was insulting and condescending. (In England, militant suffragists embraced the term "suffragette," but this takes place in the U. S.). The term "tuxedo" is an anachronism and shouldn't appear in anything that takes place before the 1920s; in the 1 I can't continue reading this cringe-worthy book. This book has little things that indicate that J know more about the era (1890s) than does the author. First of all, the title: this is set in the United States, where calling suffragists "suffragettes" was insulting and condescending. (In England, militant suffragists embraced the term "suffragette," but this takes place in the U. S.). The term "tuxedo" is an anachronism and shouldn't appear in anything that takes place before the 1920s; in the 1890s, alternatives are "evening suit," or just "tailcoat" or "top hat and tails" convey what you're going for. I'd have to double check, but a room called a "den" sounds anachronistic, too; drawing rooms were the equivalent. More to the point, I dislike every character in the book. Especially Mr. Daggers, a sexual predator reminiscent of Donald Dump. Ew. Hence cringe-worthy.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shomeret

    I rarely read or review romances. I like unusual books, and romances tend to run to formula. So when I got the request for this review, I had to take a look at what was being said about Mistress Suffragette on Goodreads. It sounded like there would be more emphasis on the context than I would normally find in a historical romance. This is why I accepted a review copy, and I am now posting an honest review. When we first meet Penelope Stanton, the protagonist of Mistress Suffragette, she's shelter I rarely read or review romances. I like unusual books, and romances tend to run to formula. So when I got the request for this review, I had to take a look at what was being said about Mistress Suffragette on Goodreads. It sounded like there would be more emphasis on the context than I would normally find in a historical romance. This is why I accepted a review copy, and I am now posting an honest review. When we first meet Penelope Stanton, the protagonist of Mistress Suffragette, she's sheltered, spoiled and somewhat shallow. She makes the occasional witty remark, but frankly I found her thoroughly unsympathetic. I told myself she would improve when she stopped being under her mother's thumb. She did improve. She began to be more thoughtful. Yet throughout the novel, Penelope ends up being swayed by those who surround her. Some of her worst decisions could only be explained by the proximity of a strong minded individual over-riding her judgment. She seemed to lack self-determination. I preferred Verdana, a feminist activist that Penelope encounters after she leaves home. I liked her self-acceptance and genuine desire to help other women. So although there were characters and moments in Mistress Suffragette that pleased me, the book definitely did have flaws. Judging from reviews, some readers may overlook those issues. I am hoping that Diane Forbes learned from the experience of writing this book and will produce better work in the future. For my complete review see http://wwwbookbabe.blogspot.com/2017/...

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Diana Forbes has a knack for this type of writing. In Mistress Suffragette we get a mix of history and romance that, despite the plethora of steamy romance book covers featuring bare chested, 18th century Dukes, is rarely done well. To be honest, it's not easy for me to imagine romance being all that sexy to begin with back before daily bathing became the norm. Perhaps that's only my pesky sense of reality rearing it's cynical head. Despite the singular historical issue of women's suffrage as a f Diana Forbes has a knack for this type of writing. In Mistress Suffragette we get a mix of history and romance that, despite the plethora of steamy romance book covers featuring bare chested, 18th century Dukes, is rarely done well. To be honest, it's not easy for me to imagine romance being all that sexy to begin with back before daily bathing became the norm. Perhaps that's only my pesky sense of reality rearing it's cynical head. Despite the singular historical issue of women's suffrage as a focus, there is a lot going on in this novel. By a lot, I mean a lot of everything; social issues, characters, locations, and story lines. Penelope is a woman hell bent on shirking the burden of the life she was born for. Along the way she acts irresponsibly as often as she does with considerable thought. She finds her affections wildly swayed between very different men and holds close a group of friends whose run the gambit in terms of personality. This makes for an engaging tale from start to finish.

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