– Research presentation by series creator Charlotte Mangin on Sissieretta Jones and Annie Smith Peck, two remarkable women from Rhode Island history
– Screening of the UNLADYLIKE2020 trailer and a sneak peek of the first episode in the series, which tells the story of aviator Bessie Coleman, the first African American woman pilot
– Panel discussion with Charlotte Mangin, Hannah Kimberley, author of A Woman’s Place Is at the Top, a biography of Annie Smith Peck, Morgan Grefe, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Historical Society, Ray Rickman, Executive Director and Robb Dimmick, Programming Director at Stages of Freedom, moderated by Christina Bevilacqua, Programs & Exhibitions Director at the Providence Public Library
– Community conversation about women’s history, African American history, Rhode Island history, and women’s empowerment
The Daily Beast just named A Woman’s Place Is at the Top on the list of “ten inspiring and thought-provoking reads about female groundbreakers” to read about during Women’s History Month! I’m not sure it can get any better than Annie Peck being nestled in between Malala Yousafzai, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg! Annie would be well pleased! Check out the full list here.
I had a lovely time speaking with Meghna Chakrabarti on Radio Boston at WBUR today. It was also fantastic to work with Producer/Writer Zoe Mitchell. You can listen to the podcast here. Thanks for tuning in!
My publication date is here! It’s been a long time coming, as you can see from this 1935 rejection letter written exactly 82 years ago today to Annie Peck’s first biographer who never did end up writing her story. I’m pretty sure there’s no such thing as coincidence, but I do believe that #persistence matters. Thanks for reading!
“With precise language and robust descriptions, Kimberley pulls this slight, wily woman out of the vaults of history and inserts Annie Smith Peck in her rightful place among our country’s most accomplished mountaineers and social leaders.”
“Annie Smith Peck (1850–1935) is the most accomplished woman most readers have never heard of. With this debut, Kimberley does an excellent job of situating Peck in her time and place, late 19th- and early 20th-century America. Peck grew up in Providence at a time when women were expected to follow a well-established path to wife and motherhood. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1878 and receiving her Master’s degree in 1881, Peck spent a “wretched” two years teaching at Purdue before traveling to Europe to study and climb mountains. Peck decided to become a touring lecturer (following a brief tenure teaching at Smith College), giving talks across the United States about Greek history and archaeology as well as mountain climbing. She continued to lecture and write about her journeys throughout her life, bucking traditional roles by never marrying and traveling alone to foreign countries. Some of her major climbs included being the first woman to ascend Mt. Shasta in 1888, along with reaching the summits of Matterhorn, Illampu in Bolivia, and Huascarán in Peru. VERDICT Readers of adventure stories, women’s history, and biographies will enjoy this well-researched book.”
—Margaret Atwater-Singer, Univ. of Evansville Lib., IN
“Hannah Kimberley’s fine new biography of pioneering woman climber Annie Peck draws on a treasure trove of previously unavailable correspondence and other sources. Her book is affectionate and informative, though by no means hagiographic. Kimberley clearly admires Peck, for her genuine achievements as a mountaineer, for her shining intelligence, sturdy independence, and her staunch support of women’s rights. But the reader also learns about a woman whose ego, ambition, and fierce competitiveness could on occasion lead her into dubious exaggerations about the summits she reached, as well as a disregard for the well-being and contributions of others on her adventures in the Peruvian Andes. Kimberley’s Annie Peck is a complicated and fascinating historical actor.”