As I indicated in my profile, I'd like to think that if f Henry Louis Gates were to run a geneology of my anscestors, he'd discover that I'm related to each of these three women whose love of life spirited them through a myriad of adventures and whose literary bent filled readers like me with a desire to satisfy my own curiosities, to explore new geographies and to meet people whose cultures are far different from mine. I thought I'd include some additional information about these women.
Sarah Kemble Knight: An eighteenth century woman of considerable girth and humor
Sarah Kemble Knight, a teacher and business woman who lived at the turn of the eighteenth century, was an independent woman with a terrific business sense, a wicked sense of humor, and a bent to adventure. She was apparently so good at business that when her cousin, Caleb Trowbridge, died, she felt it incumbent upon her to settle his estate and traveled 112 miles by carriage from Boston to New York, a journey most women did not embark on alone (and men did so only with some trepidation). Her exploits during the journey are described in her journal which has become a staple in many American anthologies. Unlike the boring, sermon-like writings of the time, her journal includes entertaining though utterly un-PC, descriptions, including her becoming stuck between the banisters of a narrow staircase in one of the Colonial Inns in which she stayed.
Emily Kimbrough: A Flapper
Emily Kimbrough, who came of age during the flapper age, has roots in Chicago and Indiana. Born in Muncie, Indiana, she attended Bryn Mawr College outside Philadelphia, and the returned to the Midwest where she began her career as a writer at Chicago’s Marshall Field where she was employed as a copy editor. Eventually she became Managing Editor of Ladies Home Journal before moving into radio where she had a program on WCBS. But between graduating Bryn Mawr College in 1921 and her career, she took off with her friend, Cornelia Otis Skinner, to explore Europe. The two describe their adventures during the flapper period in their book, Our Hearts Were Young and Gay.
Auntie Mame: A woman who did it all
Auntie Mame is based on the life of Marion Tanner, the real life aunt of Patrick Dennis, the author of the fictional book, movie, and Broadway play. Mame like Emily is a flapper but her exploits are sophisticated, humorous, and full of grabbing life wherever and however you find it. She transforms herself from a New Yorker to the wife of an Austrian Baron and together they go off to climb the Matterhorn. Her mantra: "LIFE IS A BANQUET...LIVE!"
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