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Madame Presidentess (Fiction)   
Nicole Evelina, 2016.
This novel, like many of the recent novels, appears to be inspired the most by Barbara Goldsmith's biography, "Other Powers," which is the most inaccurate of all the Woodhull biographies.  The novelist claims her book adheres closely to history but that's difficult to believe when she has an adult Josie Mansfield performing with Victoria in San Francisco around 1855-1856.  In reality Josie Mansfield would've been around 9 or younger at the time she informs Victoria that her son is an "idiot." It would be more accurate to say the novelist adheres closely to Barbara Goldsmith.  The one area where the novel diverges from Goldsmith's interpretation is on the topic of sexual abuse.  Evelina chooses to depict Victoria's father Buck as physically but not sexually abusive.  The novel begins with Victoria's childhood in Homer, Ohio, and ends with her January 1873 speech at Cooper Union in New York City.  There's an afterword by the author that provides a small slice of what happened to Victoria after the novel ends. The author also has notes to explain some of her choices in constructing her narrative the way she did. The book won first place in the 2015 Chaucer Awards for Historical Fiction.
Renegade Queen (Fiction)
Eva Flynn, 2015.
The author's notes say "Victoria's life is open to interpretation, and I have taken the sympathetic view."  The novel opens with "I was conceived in a whore's tent at a Methodist Revival."  Imagine what the first sentence would've been if she had taken the unsympathetic view! The first chapter of Renegade Queen was obviously inspired by Barbara Goldsmith's questionable account of Victoria's conception. The Renegade Queen followed Goldsmith's lead in portraying Buck Claflin as a sexual abuser and uses sexual abuse as a theme to demonstrate the wretched state of Victorian society. The novel covers Victoria's life from her conception until she sails to England in 1877.  In some respects the book is a romance of Victoria Woodhull and her second husband Colonel Blood.  He's portrayed as the "Hero of Vicksburg." The novel received the 2016 IPPY Gold Medal for Adult Fiction.
Outrageous: The Victoria Woodhull Saga, Volume One: Rise to Riches (Fiction)
Neal Katz, 2015.
Outrageous has a unique distinction as an example of the phenomenon of spirit channeling.  The author genuinely believes that he channeled the spirit of Victoria Woodhull and others while writing this book. The details provided about the birth of Victoria's daughter Zula suggest that the author was actually channeling the spirit of Barbara Goldsmith who was very much alive at the time this book was written.  Both Katz and Goldsmith have Zula born in a tenement at 53 Bond Street. That would be as ridiculous as saying someone was born in a tenement in Trump Tower. Prior to the Civil War Bond Street was the enclave of the rich in New York City.  By the time Zula was born the character of the neighborhood was shifting to a middle class and professional neighborhood of doctors and lawyers.  The rich were abandoning Bond Street for Fifth Avenue, but the Bond Street neighborhood  definitely wasn't a poor one in 1861.  Because this book was inspired by Barbara Goldsmith, it depicts Buck as a sexual abuser in ways some readers may find disturbing.  Katz chose to write his novel as a series, which is probably a good choice as Victoria's life was so rich and complicated it's not conducive to a short narrative.  The novel has won multiple awards: 2016 Winner of Best New Fiction in the International Book Awards, a Ben Franklin Award from the Independent Book Publishers Association, the Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book by a Publisher, and the IPPY Award for Best Historical Fiction. It was a finalist in the Historical Fiction category of the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and a second place winner of the IndieReader Discovery Award for best Fiction.
Crossing Swords: Mary Baker Eddy vs. Victoria Claflin Woodhull and the Battle for the Soul of Marriage (Non-Fiction)
Cindy Peyser Safronoff, 2015.
Crossing Swords compares and contrasts the views of Christian Scientist Mary Baker Eddy and Spiritualist Victoria Woodhull on the topics of love and marriage.  Instead of hiding her bias, the author readily admits up front that she's a Christian Scientist which makes her more sympathetic to the views of Eddy. The book begins with a history of religion and marrage in the United States before it gets down to the culture war exemplified by the views of Eddy and Woodhull.  Unlike Goldsmith's book the citations are actually usable.  The book is slim compared to other non-fiction books about Victoria, but the author is working on an expanded volume that will cover Eddy's continued war against "Free Love" and the shift of some Spiritualists to Christian Science.
The Scarlet Sisters: Sex, Suffrage, and Scandal in the Gilded Age (Non-Fiction)
Myra MacPherson, 2014.
The Scarlet Sisters is a biography of Victoria Claflin Woodhull and her rambunctious sister Tennessee Claflin. While there's some information about the life of Tennessee that didn't appear in previous biographies, much of what's written about Victoria seems to be a recap of all the biographies that have come before it.  For those who haven't read a biography about Victoria Woodhull, that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's a better introduction to Victoria Woodhull than Barbara Goldsmith's "Other Powers." For those who have read extensively about Victoria and are craving new stories, the book would be a disappointment. It doesn't break new ground the way Amanda Frisken or Lois Beachy Underhill did.  The Scarlet Sisters' strength is reflecting on the Claflin sister's past struggle for women's rights in order to shed light on today's feminist issues.
The Coming Woman: A Novel Based on the Life of the Infamous Feminist, Victoria Woodhull  (Fiction)
Karen J. Hicks, 2014.
Coming Woman begins with Victoria's announcement of her candidacy for the presidency in 1870 and ends with the Beecher-Tilton scandal.  There are flashbacks of her earlier life and a fictionalized epilogue.  The writer first learned about Victoria in 1980 before Goldsmith published her book, so it relies less on "Other Powers" than other more recent novels, although Goldsmith's influence is still felt.
Selected Writings of Victoria Woodhull: Suffrage, Free Love, and Eugenics (Non-Fiction)
Cari M Carpenter, 2010.
History students and professors will apreciate this volume which contains several of Victoria Woodhull's own works.  The contents of the book are listed below by category:

*A Page of American history. A New Constitution of the United States of the World Proposed for the Consideration of the Constructors of Our Future Government (1872), presented 1870 in Lincoln Hall, Washington DC.
*The Memorial of Victoria C. Woodhull, Jan. 11, 1871, Congress, Washington DC.
*Constitutional Equality, an essay from Congressional Reports on Woman Suffrage, 1871, based on the speech, A Legal and Moral View of Constitutional Equality, Feb. 16, 1871, Lincoln Hall, Washington DC,
*The Great Secession Speech, May 11, 1871, Apollo Hall, NYC.
*A Speech on the Principles of Social Freedom, Nov. 20, 1871, Steinway Hall, NYC.
*A Speech on the Impending Revolution Feb. 1, 1872 in Boston and Feb. 20, 1872 Academy of Music NY, reprinted in Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly on Nov 1, 1873.
*Speech at the Ratification Meeting of the Equal Rights Party, Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly, June 22, 1872, p. 10-11.
*The Naked Truth; or the Situation Reviewed, Jan 9, 1873, Cooper Institute, NYC.
*Reformation or Revolution, Which? or, Behind the Political Scenes, Oct. 17, 1873, Cooper Institute, NYC.
*The Elixir of Life; or, Why Do We Die?, Sep. 18, 1873, Grow's Opera House, Chicago.
*The Scare-Crows of Sexual Slavery, Aug. 18, 1873, Silver Lake Camp Meeting, Massachusetts.
*Tried As By Fire; or, the True and the False, Socially, published 1874, delivered 150 nights on a lecture tour.
*Stirpiculture; or, the Scientific Propagation of the Human Race, Feb. 1888, London.
*The Rapid Multiplication of the Unfit, 1891, published in London and NY.

*The Correspondence Between the Victoria League and Victoria C. Woodhull, c. July 1871.
*Victoria C. Woodhull's complete and detailed version of the Beecher-Tilton affair (Contains transcript of the Nov. 2, 1872 Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly) published by J. Bradley Adams, obtained from Princeton University.
*Excerpt from The Garden of Eden; or Paradise Lost and Found, published in London by Culliford, no date (Supposed to have been given as a speech in 1876).

*The Woodhull Manifesto as published in the NY Herald Apr. 2, 1870.
*Killing No Murder, Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly, Jun. 11, 1870.
*Correspondence of the Equal Rights Party, Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly, June 15, 1872, p. 8-9.
*The Spirit World, Pittsburgh Leader, 1873, from Southern Illinois University.
*Woman Suffrage in the United States, The Humanitarian, July 1896, p. 1-8.

*My Dear Mrs. Bladen, June 22, 1871.
*My Dear Mrs. Mott, July 13, 1871.
*Dear Lucretia Mott, Feb. 27, 1873.

*I Am the Daughter of Time, possibly a fragment of Victoria's unfinished autobiography, July 1895, Southern Illinois University.

Victoria Woodhull Fearless Feminist (Non-Fiction)
Kate Havelin, 2007.
For grades 4-10.
Bells on Her Toes: The Embellished Memoirs of the Irrepressible Sisters Victoria Woodhull and Tennessee Claflin (Fiction)
Irving Stanton Elman, 2006.
Bells on Her Toes is a wise-cracking novel about the Claflin sisters. Here's a typical exchange between Dr. Canning Woodhull and Dr. Reuben Buckman Claflin when Dr. Woodhull presents himself as a graduate of the Univeristy of Heidelberg.
 "Heidleberg University, that sounds familiar--that's in Germany, ain't it?" 
Dr. Woodhull replies, "No, I went to the other one in Heidelberg, Indiana.  And where did you obtain your doctorate, sir, if I may ask?"
Dr. Woodhull was impressed. "Ah! You studied in England!" 
"Oxford, Pennsylvania.  The Oxford P-a, Academy of Veter'nary Medicine."
The novel doesn't take itself seriously the way all the other 21st century novels do. If you like this novel, chances are you'll also like writing style of M.M. Marberry's biography "Vicky."

 Free Lover: Sex, Marriage and Eugenics in the Early Writings of Victoria Woodhull (Non-Fiction)Victoria Woodhull, introduction by Michael W. Perry, 2005.

The companion volume to Lady Eugenist. It contains the following speeches by Victoria Woodhull:

  • The Principles of Social Freedom
  • The Scare-crows of Sexual Slavery
  • The Elixir of Life
  • Tried as by Fire

With the publication of Cari M. Carpenter's book on the Selected Writings of Victoria Woodhull, this book isn't as valuable as it used to be as a resource for hard to find Victoria Woodhull speeches.  The same speeches are now available in Carpenter's book which has better commentary.  Perry opposes the views of the Free Lovers which have since become commonplace. His critique of current marriage values includes such gems as "At that point, today's radical might ask why marriage should be limited to one or, stressing the 'significant,' if someone could marry a pet or the thing (perhaps a car) that matters most to them."


Order Digital

Lady Eugenist: Feminist Eugenics in the Speeches and Writings of Victoria Woodhull (Non-Fiction)
Victoria Woodhull, introduction by Michael W. Perry, 2005. 
A paperback collection of writings on eugenics by Victoria Woodhull.  The writings can also be purchased individually as Adobe eBooks for $1.95. (see below). 
  • Children -- Their Rights and Privileges (The Training of Children --- Good Advice to Mothers)
  • The Garden of Eden; or, Paradise Lost and Found
  • Humanitarian Government
  • Stirpiculture; or, The Scientific Propagation of the Human Race
  • The Scientific Propagation of the Human Race; or, Humanitarian Aspects of Finance and Marriage. The Science of Well Being
  • The Rapid Multiplication of the Unfit

The introductory and editorial comments of Michael W. Perry aren't what you'd expect for books about Victoria Woodhull.  Perry is no fan of Woodhull and tries to discredit Woodhull and liberals by labeling them as elitist racists for advocating eugenics.

The Garden of Eden; Or the Paradise Lost and Found,
Victoria Woodhull, 2005.  Dodo Press paperback.
A Woman for President : The Story of Victoria Woodhull,
Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Jane Dyer, 2004.  A beautifully illustrated book for ages 9-12.
Victoria Woodhull's Sexual Revolution: Political Theater and the Popular Press in Nineteenth-Century America (Non-Fiction)
Amanda Frisken, 2004.
This book is the most scholarly of the Woodhull biographies and was written by a Professor of American Studies at the State University of New York, Old Westbury.  The material is original and the author sought out primary sources whereever possible.  The book focuses on the public life of Victoria Woodhull from 1870-1877 when she was at the height of her fame.  The book may be scholarly but it's not boring.  There are several illustrations from the tabloids of the 1870's that illuminate the depiction of Victoria in the media. This book is not as widely read as "Other Powers" but deserves to be because Frisken is hands down a better historian than Goldsmith.  This book should be a companion volume to "Notorious Victoria."
Victoria Woodhull: Free Spirit for Women's Rights (Oxford Portraits),
Miriam Brody, 2004.  For grades 7 and up.
Das Aufsehen erregende Leben der Victoria Woodhull,
Anjte Schrupp, 2002.  German (Deutsche) language only. "The Sensational, Exciting Life of Victoria Woodhull."  Available on only.  Not available on the American Amazon site. Author site on Victoria Woodhull.

Gob's Grief, (Fiction)
Chris Adrian, 2002.  A story about Gob and Tomo Woodhull, fictional twin sons of Victoria Woodhull.  Also available as a Microsoft Reader eBook.
Hard Cover


Victoria Woodhull : First Woman Presidential Candidate (Non-Fiction)
Jacqueline MacLean, 2000.
Part of the Notable Americans series for ages 10 and up.  This barely over 100 page biography for young people is based upon the biographies by Gabriel, Meade, and Underhill.  There are 26 black & white illustrations some of better quality than others.
American Lady of the Manor, Bredon's Norton; the Later Life of Victoria Woodhull Martin 1901-1927
Owen Stinchcombe, 2000. 
Notorious Victoria (Non-Fiction)
Mary Gabriel, 1998.
Written by a journalist, Notorious Victoria provides a reporter's balanced account of the life of Victoria Woodhull from birth until death. The book explains, rather than condemns, Woodhull's free love advocacy. The book is enriched by the input of Owen Stinchcombe, a British writer who researched Woodhull's life in England. While the book isn't flawless, it's considered the best of the Victoria Woodhull biographies by Victoria Woodhull & Company. If you know nothing about Victoria Woodhull, Notorious Victoria is the first book to read. To order from Amazon, click on the cover above. Read an excerpt from Notorious Victoria








Other Powers: The Age of Suffrage, Spiritualism, & the Scandalous Victoria Woodhull,
Barbara Goldsmith, 1998. The Jacket Description of Other Powers
Other Powers isn't a traditional biography.  The author described it as a social history.  It's the book to consult if you're looking for an intimate view of the times of Victoria Woodhull. It demonstrates the important role spiritualism played in empowering women. In the past this web site praised the book for being extensively researched and for its lengthy bibliography which goes beyond the usual sources.  After extensively reviewing the sources, it was discovered that the book is inaccurate, poorly cited, and uses at least two novels as historical sources.  For example, Goldsmith claimed that "Miss Tennessee's Magnetic Life Elixir" contained laudanum.  Goldsmith didn't cite her source for the ingredients, but the only known work that said laudanum was in the elixir was "The Vixens: A Biography of Victoria and Tennessee Claflin" by James Brough.  Despite the word "Biography" in its title, "The Vixens" is an historical novel and not a non-fiction biography. "The Vixens" inexplicably appears in Goldsmith's bibliography which suggests Goldsmith credulously believed "The Vixens" was a non-fiction book. Goldsmith was the first author to claim that Buck Claflin sexually abused his children.  She provided four sources but none of the four sources support her claim.  Her strongest evidence was a quote from the 1871 Theodore Tilton biography.  Goldsmith wrote, "Years later, Vickie would say Buck 'made her a woman before her time.'" Except that's not what Victoria said.  Tilton's biography actually says "But the parents, as if not unwilling to be rid of a daughter whose sorrow is ripening her into a woman before her time, were delighted at the unexpected offer." Goldsmith also demonstrated she's no genealogist.  She portrayed Congressman John Snyder as a life-long bachelor when he actually has multiple marriage records.  She called Col. Blood's first wife "Isabel" when her name was Mary.  She claimed Victoria's four sisters were all single women forced into prostitution by their father when they lived on Wabash Avenue in Chicago.  In reality three of them were actually married, and there's no primary evidence they were prostitutes.  She claimed Tennessee was married the first time to John Bartels in Memphis, Tennessee when her first marriage was to John James Bortle in Sycamore, Illinois.  It would take a book to cover all the mistakes made in this "award-winning" work.  The book has been praised for its compelling writing style, but it isn't recommended as an introduction to Victoria Woodhull except for advanced students of history who know how to evaluate sources.  High school students would be better off starting with the biographies by Gabriel, Underhill, or MacPherson. Other Powers is available in both hard cover and paperback from Amazon Read an excerpt from Other Powers

Hard Cover




The Woman Who Ran for President in Paperback
The Woman Who Ran for President , Lois Beachy Underhill, 1995.
The Woman Who Ran for President broke ground for new research on Victoria Woodhull beyond that of Emanie Sachs. Underhill contacted the British family of Woodhull's last husband John Biddulph Martin for previously unpublished material. She also consulted psychotherapists for an analysis of Woodhull's psyche and presents an interesting theory that Woodhull's sister Utica was a dyslexic. Available in both hard cover and paperback from Amazon.


Hard Cover


The Vixens, James Brough, 1980. (fiction) [OUT OF PRINT]


A Thread of Scarlet, A Play in Two Acts,
Howard Richardson, 1980. [OUT OF PRINT] Available by special order from Amazon.
Victoria la Scandaleuse, Nicole Blondeau & Jean-Paul Feuillebois, 1979. (French fiction; Fran�ais)


The Victoria Woodhull Reader
, edited by Madeleine B. Stern, 1974 reprints.
This is the book to consult for the original speeches of Victoria Woodhull. This is Victoria in her own words, uncensored by the Victorian press. Available by special order from Amazon.

Free Woman
, Marion Meade, 1976. [OUT OF PRINT]
Marion Meade, 1976. [OUT OF PRINT]
It seems impossible that Victoria Woodhull would make a suitable subject for a biography for the young, but with Meade's pen she does. Surprisingly, Meade doesn't hold back on discussing Woodhull's views on sexuality. She presents the topics of divorce, free love, and prostitution tactfully. Few parents would object to her handling of a difficult subject. On the other hand, if you're an adult you may be disappointed by this bowdlerized version of Victoria's story.
Available by special order from Amazon.


Woodhull & Claflin's Weekly: the Lives & Writings of Notorious Victoria Woodhull & her Sister Tennessee,
compiled by Arlene Kisner, 1972. [OUT OF PRINT] Very short book with extracts from Theodore Tilton's bio and from the Weekly.


The Garden of Eden, the Allegorical Meaning Revealed , Victoria Woodhull, 1972 reprint by Health Research, Mokelumne Hill, CA. This book reprints a portion of "The Garden of Eden," but it is not complete. Victoria's archaic views on ovulation have been expunged. The religious re-interpretation of the book of Genesis may have been written by Colonel Blood in part, if not entirely. In letters to friends, he expressed his theories on menstruation, which seem to be reflected here.

Mrs. Satan, Johanna Johnston, 1967. [OUT OF PRINT]
Both Mrs. Satan and Vicky by M.M. Marberry are mostly retellings of Emanie Sachs' original biography. You'll find a few interesting tidbits not in Sachs, but for the most part they're the same story. It's just a matter of which writer's style you prefer. Marberry is the most humorous. Mrs. Satan available by special order from Amazon.


Vicky, M.M. Marberry, 1967. [OUT OF PRINT]


Whirlwind in Petticoats, Beril Becker (fiction) [OUT OF PRINT]


Terrible Siren, Emanie Nahm Sachs [Arling], 1928. Reprinted in 1970's. [OUT OF PRINT]
For years, Terrible Siren has been considered the definitive biography of Woodhull. The Fogg family unsuccessfully tried to prevent publication of this book because they considered it libelous. Although some of the facts are more like fiction, the book still reads well after seventy years. Sachs included unsubstantiated rumors, anecdotes, and hearsay because she believed they were telling of Victoria Woodhull. In actuality, they're more telling of the author and the flappers' attitudes toward their Victorian forebears. Available by special order from Amazon.


Origins, Tendencies, & Principles of Government, Victoria Woodhull, 1871. This is a rare book, held by such libraries as the University of Michigan.

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Online Books

 Victoria C. Woodhull, A Biographical Sketch Read the first biography ever written about Victoria Woodhull. Published by Theodore Tilton in 1871.

Milo Adams Townsend & the Social Movements of the Nineteenth Century, edited by Peggy Jean Townsend & Charles Walker Townsend III. Chapter on Stanton & Woodhull.


Book Reviews & Author Interviews/Sites

Sex Wars
 A street-level, albeit fictional, view of American history through feminist-colored glasses" by Susan Wickstrom
Author Marge Piercy's Own Site
Gob's Grief
 My Brother's Keeper by Linda L. Richards
 Review by Mary Elizabeth Williams
Notorious Victoria & Other Powers
 Feminist Found: A Summer of Love Refugee in the Victorian Age by Bill Strubbe
 Houston Chronicle Review by Jonelle Bonta
Notorious Victoria
 Salon Magazine Review by Megan Harlan
Other Powers
 Review by Bob Powers
 Review by Richard Bernstein from Author Barbara Goldsmith's Own Site
 The Joys of Fraud and Balderdash by Katherine Powers for the Boston Globe
A Spirit of Mary Loeffelholz for the Boston Globe
  Scandal, Seances, & Seneca Falls by Kevin Nies
 The Woman Who Ran for President
 Lois Beachy Underhill's Victoria Woodhull Home Page
 Sunshine for Women Summary of The Woman Who Ran for President

Books with Chapters or Paragraphs on Victoria Woodhull

Sex Wars, (Fiction)
Marge Piercy, 2005.
Rereading Sex : Battles Over Sexual Knowledge and Suppression in Nineteenth-Century America (Paperback),
Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, 2003.


Trials of Intimacy: Love and Loss in the Beecher-Tilton Scandal,
Richard Wightman Fox, 1999.
A History of the American Suffragist Movement by Doris Weatherford, 1998.
Nicht Marxistin und auch nicht Anarchistin. Frauen in der Ersten Internationale,
Antje Schrupp, 1999. Available from in Germany only.
The Struggle for Women's Rights: Theoretical and Historical Sources by George & Margaret Klosko, 1998.
Women Suffragists, Diana Star Helmer, 1998.
Available from Amazon. Part of the American Profile Series. Young adult. Short biographies of 10 women, including Victoria Woodhull.
Women Short-changed by History by Barbara Venton Montgomery, 1998.
Alternative Constitutions for the United States, A Documentary History by Steven R. Boyd, 1992. Reprints Victoria Woodhull's Consitution of the United States of the World.
Reverend Beecher and Mrs. Tilton : Sex and Class in Victorian America,
Altina Waller, 1982.
The Nympho & Other Maniacs,   Irving Wallace, 1971.  The Nympho & Other Maniacs contains the most salacious and sensational account of Victoria Woodhull. If you want to be shocked, this is the book. If you want the facts, look elsewhere.
The Square Pegs,
Irving Wallace, 1957.
Virtually identical to the Victoria Woodhull chapter in The Nympho & Other Maniacs.

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To make additions to the list, please e-mail  Mary Shearer of Victoria Woodhull & Company