sarah edmonds

Lucy Gérard as Fanny Elssler in Rostand’s “l'Aigon,” circa 1900. Elssler, an Austrian Ballerina who in the play “l'Aiglon,” by Edmond Rostand, was the love interest of Napoleon II. The role of Napoleon II, by the way, was played by the great Sarah Bernhardt. In fact, Rostand wrote the part specifically for her. The play was a huge success, and became one of Sarah Bernhardt’s favorites. Playing the romantic lead opposite Bernhard must have been quite a coup, and this postcard image, the one we find most often of Mlle. Gérard, is of her costumed for that role.

girls just want to be on TV

With the new Peggy Carter show happening and the release list of the Fall lineup (lackluster!) I’m putting out a nice wishlist of awesome female-centered ideas that would make awesome TV shows.

  • Lois Lane (Clark can come later as a supporting character) mostly the adventures of an awesome, independent reporter who does whatever she needs to do to get her stories, even better if it’s set in the 70s or 80s.

  • Betty & Veronica - the plot revolves that they both decide that Archie wasn’t worth their time and they develop their own stories, their own interest.
  • Red Sonya - with the popularity of Game of Thrones I think it’s a great time to bring back that Xena-esque show that has been lacking on TV. Badass fantasy heroine kicking ass and taking names and since we’re never getting that movie might as well make it a TV show.

  • Nurse & Spy - the story of Sarah Edmonds who if you’ve never heard of her, you should because she was amazing. During the Civil War, Sarah disguised herself as a male nurse to help out since she was not allowed to enlist and later became a union spy, she wrote all this in a memoir. How awesome would this show be? I can’t tell you how much I’d watch the shit out of this show.

  • Marlene - Maybe I’m a bit biased but the story of how Marlene Dietrich ditched all the Hollywood glamour and spent 4 years in the trenches with soldiers, dressed like them, eating with them and providing them support and a distraction in a world that was falling apart would make an amazing show. She had a lover, Jean Gabin, also a soldier and their reunion after years apart was witness by hundreds as they ran towards each other on the field while everyone cheered, stuff right out of TV magic why hasn’t this happened yet? 
  • Gypsy - The story of Gypsy Rose Lee would be incredible if done right. Gypsy was a fabulous Burlesque Entertainer and she wrote her memoir that was made into the film Gypsy starring Natalie Wood. I think, this would make an amazing story and just imagine the costumes!
  • Nancy Drew - this needs to be done right BUT if done right this could be the new Sherlock. It would be modern, sarcastic and nonsense. Nancy was way ahead of her time and I think she would translate very well to modern audiences. I think we desperately need a female teen Detective - look amazing Veronica Mars was!
  • Melba Beals “Warriors Don’t Cry” - we’ve all seen the photos of Melba walking in with her chin held high into a crowd that basically wanted her gone but this story can be fleshed out in an awesome way. Many people don’t know this but Melba went to become a journalist and I think that with the right actress this can be incredible.
  • Anne of Green Gables - please do not misunderstand, I love the 80s version but I think it would be great for Anne to get a bit of a face lift and be exposed to modern young audiences. There’s plenty of material to make a series and I think many people would be into this.
  • Little Women or the Story of Jo - it may just veer from the book, making it more detailed, but still keeping the feeling of it. All of us are still bitter that Jo didn’t end up with Laurie maybe the series can fix this? (wishful thinking nobody touch me)
  • Lucy Pevensie - NEEDS HER OWN SHOW, I’M NOT EVEN SORRY. We end up with Lucy being a teen can you imagine how amazing the continuation of her story would be once they’re in Narnia permanently? Her story was left half-told.
  • The Queen of Sheeba - one of my favorite stories as a kid was of this badass here. She was not only a monarch and a diplomat who ran her empire into Legend, she was also a mother, a lover, and a warrior. There’s so much to flesh out for her because our accounts are limited which can really let the writers take off with her personality and story.
  • Calamity Jane - I know I’m focusing a lot on historical stuff but it’s my favorite genre so… still Jane’s story would be awesome if it’s focused entirely on her, her adventures, her life in Wild Bill’s show.
  • Medusa - I know, I know she dies, Perseus cut off her head… but she’s a mythical creature… what if she gets it BACK?! What if someone actually portrays her ENTIRE story? How she was born beautiful, how Poseidon raped her in Athena’s temple, how Athena turned her into a monster out of jealousy and (and this is when a great season finale happens) how she gets her revenge? YEAH, I’d watch that.
  • Carmen Sandiego - How has this not been made into a live-action movie is beyond me. BUT it would also make an amazing TV show. It would have to be told from the perspective of Carmen, of course. ACME can be like bad, and Carmen becomes a complex character not just a caricature of a mastermind criminal villain. Oh, and she’d have to be played by a latina, this is a must.
  • Witch Hunter Robin - this. would. be. amazing. The animated series is one of my favorites but portraying Robin, a 15 year old who joins the Witch Hunter Squad who carries the memories of witches inside of her that enable her to be able to fight them persecute them only to find out it’s not all bad and there’s gray-zones would be like Buffy or Nikita and it would be great.
  • Cathy - this comic strip featuring a single woman who is a mess is so relatable now days that i think it would really find an audience with modern viewers. This comic was written since 1976 so I’m thinking there’s TONS of materials for episodes.
  • Lydia - one of the best things to come out of Beetlejuice was the Beetlejuice cartoons but also Lydia’s Gothic style that launched the 90s Gothic looks. A typical teen, Lydia’s life gets turned upside down when she can suddenly see and communicate with the ghosts living in her house. Her adventures would be helping them out of helping them disappear (as we know there’s good ghosts and bad ghosts) and peppered with Beetlejuice because he’s awesome - to flirt and throw innuendos her way and cause more mischief than anything.

I think I’ve done enough damage for one morning :) Any you’d watch? Any you’d suggest?

vimyvickers  asked:

I sent a submission form with more info, but I just finished a book on women spies in the American Civil war and while you likely have at least some of them on your list already, Sarah Emma Edmonds, Elizabeth van Lew, and Mary Elizabeth Bowser are certainly ladies of the sort found in your entries. Also, not necessarily spies, but Mary Edwards Walker, Sally Louisa Thompkins, and Kate Warne are also awesome possible RPs from the Civil War era

Is it this book? Because it’s a pretty good book and it covers most all those people.

(thank you - they’re all on the list! :D )

And if you were wondering, dang, Jason, how did you happen to have that exact book on hand? - this is how many books I have checked out from libraries around town right now:

Have another two waiting for me to pick them up.

Story Element: Woman Posing as Man

 asked: What kind of problems/difficulties would a female mc masquerading as a male face? It’s pre industry era, just a little bit. Would that time period also affect it?

A good place to start would be to read about real women who have masqueraded as men. Frances Clalin fought in the Civil War as Jack Williams. Cathay Williams fought in the Civil War as William Cathay. Sarah Emma Edmonds fought in the Civil War as Flint Thompson. Albert J. Cashier  was born Jennie Hodgers in 1843 and successfully hid his female body parts more most of his life, including when he was in the Civil War.

Others to read about: Hannah Snell, Onorata Rodiani, Deborah SampsonJane DieulafoyNadezhda Durova, and Dorothy Lawrence.

The experiences of these people will give you some ideas about the difficulties your character might face. :)

Women Civil War Soldiers -Educational Short

Excerpt from the feature documentary Rebel, about Loreta Janeta Velazquez, Civil War soldier and spy. It is estimated about a thousand women disguised themselves as men to fight as soldiers for the Union and for the Confederacy. Countless other women also served as secret agents.

The Smithsonian Associates Civil War E-Mail Newsletter, Volume 1, Number 8

Why does anyone volunteer to fight in a war, especially someone who would not otherwise be called upon? There are approximately 400 documented cases of women who served in the ranks, both North and South. But, why did these women fight?

The ladies may have “had their reasons,” but for the most part, we have no documentation to tell us why. There was John Williams, also known as Sarah Blaylock, who states only that she was mustered in as a private and discharged one month later when she was discovered to be a woman. Why did she enlist to fight?

Charles Freeman, or Mary Scaberry, enlisted in the summer of 1862. Her identity was discovered after she was admitted to the hospital the following November. Her discharge papers state she was dismissed for: “Sex(t)ual incompatibility and fever.” Why did she fight?

Sarah Edmonds enlisted as Franklin Thompson and describes her physical exam as “a firm handshake.” She participated in several battles and left the service when she caught malaria and feared discovery if she were treated. After the war she married, raised three children, and received a government pension for her Civil War service. Why did she fight?

The most telling story is that of another fighting lady, Rosetta (Lyons) Wakeman. She was the oldest child in a large family, and by necessity worked under brutal conditions on the family farm in upstate New York. She left home at 19, and instead of taking a job as a laundress or a domestic for pennies a day, she dressed as a man and hired onto a canal boat as a coal handler. When she learned she could earn $13 per month in the army, she enlisted as a private in the 153rd New York State Volunteers. Her early letters home tell just how oppressed she felt there. Still, she saved her army pay and sent home large sums of money and generous gifts. In return she asked the home folks for tobacco, apples, pies, and cakes. In the army she enjoyed freedoms not possible to her as a woman. And, she was having the time of her life. She writes, “I enjoy myself first rate … I have had plenty of money to spend and a good time asoldiering. I find just as good friends among strangers as I do at home.” Her true identity was never discovered, not even when she visited male friends in other regiments who knew her from home, or even when she was hospitalized with dysentery. When she died in a New Orleans Army hospital, she was buried as a soldier. She rests at Chalmette National Cemetery with a soldier’s headstone.

We might assume that women soldiers in the Civil War fought for the same reasons as men–patriotism, adventure, to rid the country of slavery. But we know exactly why Rosetta Wakeman fought. She fought to gain her own freedom. Only as a soldier was she able to live as free and “independent as a hog on the ice.”

Master of Disguise

This is Sarah Emma Edmonds, a woman who enlisted in the Union Army using the name “Frank Thompson.” She later wrote about her experiences as a soldier and a spy. Although she managed to fool everyone with her disguise, I thought of one thing that would make it more convincing. 


Speaking of the shift in opinions about women soldiers after the Civil War...

(previous post)

The authors of They Fought Like Demons found one particularly interesting occurence. In the early 20th century, many people wrote to the War Department hoping to find documentation about women who had served in the Civil War– some about a relative or someone they’d known, others out of general curiosity. For those who asked about a specific person, clerks from the Adjutant General’s Office (which maintained the War Department’s archives) actually went out and researched them, and were sometimes able to confirm the details of where and when they had served.

When it came to general inquiries, however…

On October 21, 1909, Ida Tarbell of the American Magazine wrote to General F. C. Ainsworth, the adjutant general: “I am anxious to know whether your department has any record of the number of women who enlisted and served in the Civil War, or has it any record of any women who were in the service?” She received a swift reply from the Records and Pension Office, a division of the AGO, over Ainsworth’s signature. The response read in part: “I have the honor to inform you that no official record has been found in the War Dept. showing specifically that any woman was ever enlisted in the military service of the US… It is possible, however, that there may have been a few instances of women having served as soldiers for a short time without their sex having been detected, but no record if such cases is known to exist in the official files.” This response was patently untrue, but it was sent to anyone who requested general information about women soldiers.

Since the employees who actually worked with the records clearly knew that records on female soldiers did exist, the authors of They Fought Like Demons think that these negative responses were sent out because of a personal agenda of General Ainsworth’s. They say:

Ainsworth’s reasons for denying the participation of women soldiers during the Civil War are not known, but he was quoted in an 1895 newspaper article about Sarah Edmonds as saying that he believed very few of the stories of women as soldiers. Apparently, Ainsworth’s personal opinion became the official response of the AGO. Ainsworth could not very well deny Edmonds’ service, however, since her service had been endorsed by his superior, the secretary of war, a decade earlier.

I can’t help but wonder, if Ainsworth was deliberately trying to hide evidence of women solders, why he didn’t do a better job. Why the inconsistency in responses? Were the clerks who sent out information about individual women disobeying orders? Is it possible– althouth the people who worked directly with the records clearly knew what was there– that Ainsworth actually believed there weren’t any records of women soldiers?

pelvicthrustsocrates-blog-blog  asked:

Just found your site, and I love it! I noticed you didn't have anyone for Canada, so I wanted to direct your attention to a woman named Sarah Emma Edmonds (aka Franklin Flint Thompson) who was born in my little corner of the world (New Brunswick, Canada) during the 19th century. She was a pretty amazing woman. I know you're probably pretty busy, but thought I'd just throw her way for someday in the future. Keep up the wonderful work!!

I guess Sermserssuaq doesn’t count…? 

Sarah Emma Edmonds is on the list, but if I do an entry on her, geographically her pin would probably be located in the states, which wouldn’t give the appropriate amount of Canadian Pride that one might want.

Other possible Canadians on my list:

  • Margaret de la Rocque: stranded on Demon’s Island (no, really, that’s its name) by shitty brother, survived and founded a school for girls
  • Agent X: Spy who prevented a ton of attacks on Canada, identity unknown
  • Laura Secord: Canadian Paul Revere who walked 20 miles to head off US troops, was helped by Mohawk Indians
  • Kit Coleman: first female war correspondent; defied bosses who wanted her to write ‘women’s stuff’