Download Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the 'Powerless' Woman Who Took On Washington Audiobook

Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the Powerless Woman Who Took On Washington Audiobook, by Patricia Miller Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Patricia Miller Narrator: Christina Delaine Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2018 ISBN: 9781427294333
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“I’ll take my share of the blame. I only ask that he take his.”

In Bringing Down the Colonel, journalist Patricia Miller tells the story of Madeline Pollard, an unlikely nineteenth-century women’s rights crusader. After an affair with a prominent politician left her “ruined,” Pollard brought the man—and the hypocrisy of America’s control of women’s sexuality—to trial. And, surprisingly, she won.

Pollard and the married Colonel Breckinridge began their decade-long affair when she was just a teenager. After the death of his wife, Breckinridge asked for Pollard’s hand—and then broke off the engagement to marry another woman. But Pollard struck back, suing Breckinridge for breach of promise in a shockingly public trial. With premarital sex considered irredeemably ruinous for a woman, Pollard was asserting the unthinkable: that the sexual morality of men and women should be judged equally.

Nearly 125 years after the Breckinridge-Pollard scandal, America is still obsessed with women’s sexual morality. And in the age of Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein, we’ve witnessed fraught public reckonings with a type of sexual exploitation unnervingly similar to that experienced by Pollard. Using newspaper articles, personal journals, previously unpublished autobiographies, and letters, Bringing Down the Colonel tells the story of one of the earliest women to publicly fight back.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Polite society deemed Madeline Pollard a ‘ruined woman’ when her long-time lover, Kentucky Congressman William Breckinridge, refused to marry her as promised. Here’s the surprising tale of how she sued and roused a generation of women to throw him out of office.”

    Meryl Gordon, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A panoramic examination of women’s changing roles and of women’s efforts to provide for themselves and make their way in the largely male public sphere. Good, timely history for the #MeToo moment.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice

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About the Author

Christina Delaine is an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator and accomplished stage actress. Her theater credits include Jewtopia, the longest-running comedy in Off-Broadway history, and the title role in Antigone at both Portland Center Stage and Kentucky Repertory Theatre. She holds a BA degree from Dartmouth College and an MFA in acting from Brown University.

About the Narrator

Christina Delaine is an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator and accomplished stage actress. Her theater credits include Jewtopia, the longest-running comedy in Off-Broadway history, and the title role in Antigone at both Portland Center Stage and Kentucky Repertory Theatre. She holds a BA degree from Dartmouth College and an MFA in acting from Brown University.