The Lost Voice of Mary L. Booth
Designer and author Tricia Foley, who has published 12 books on lifestyle and design has turned her experience as a former magazine editor and author to search for the untold life story of Mary L. Booth.
A woman both of and ahead of her time, this nineteenth century writer/editor/translator/suffragist/abolitionist played a key role for the Union during the Civil War, was a leader in early days of magazine publishing, a part of the women’s rights movement, a translator of more than 45 books, a friend of writers and poets, artists, statesmen and academics. Born in 1831 in a small village on Long Island, by the early 1850’s Mary Booth was on her own in Manhattan, writing for The New York Times, Putnam’s Weekly and other cultural publications. She wrote the first History of the City of New York in 1859 and was instrumental in bringing the Statue of Liberty to New York. As the founding editor of Harper’s Bazar, where she reigned for 22 years, she was renowned and respected among her peers in the worlds of literature and publishing, both in the United States and in Europe.
She counted among her friends Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Louisa May Alcott, and Oliver Wendell Holmes. She was involved in promoting the first women’s infirmary and college for women doctors in the U.S., and was a member of the American Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood art movement.
This once-famous author and editor was an extraordinary woman whose accomplishments – whose life – made a difference. And yet, 130 years after her death, no one knows her name.
For over 30 years, Tricia has been hunting and gathering correspondence, period images, first edition books and news clips about Booth’s accomplishments for her illustrated biography and will share with us the truly untold story of this extraordinary nineteenth century woman.