Madame Presidentess

Nicole Evelina

Book Cover

GENRE

BIOGRAPHICAL

    Core Theme

    RISING ABOVE WHAT PEOPLE THINK OF YOU AND BECOMING WHAT YOU WERE MEANT TO BE

    TIME PERIOD

    19th Century

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    THE IRON LADY (HER FORMATIVE YEARS), SUFFRAGETTE, THELMA & LOUISE

    CHARACTER LIST

    • VICTORIA WOODHULL: 9-40. STRONG, DETERMINED, QUICK LEARNER, LOGICAL, TRUSTING.
    • BUCK: 40s. VICTORIA'S FATHER. DRUNK, CONMAN, WOULD SELL HIS OWN DAUGHTERS TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER, SWINDLER.
    • JAMES BLOOD: 40s. VICTORIA'S SECOND HUSBAND. COOL, CALM, COLLECTED, SUPPORTIVE.

    Logline

    Forty-eight years before women were granted the right to vote in the US, Victoria Woodhull dared to run for President of the United States. Her name has been virtually written out of the history books.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 35-54,18-34,55+

    Target Gender: Female Leaning

    Setting

    New York City, Washington D.C., Homer, Ohio

    Based on a True Story

    No

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: Lawson Gartner Publishing

    Year Published: 2016

    Starting Description

    Rising from the shame of an abusive childhood and first marriage, Victoria Woodhull vows to improve the lot of American women. Along the way, she shatters the old boys club of Wall Street and Congress. When she runs for President in 1872, she sets tongues wagging and men trembling.


    Ending Description

    “Notorious Victoria”/“Mrs. Satan’s,” radical views on women’s rights, equality of the sexes, free love and the role of politics in private affairs collide with her tumultuous personal life to endanger all she has built, including the election. Though she didn’t win, she became a role model for women

    Group Specific

    Women's rights, suffrage, feminism, women in politics

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    978-0996763202

    Mature Audience Themes

    Sexual Abuse

    Plot - Other Elements

    Other

    Plot - Premise

    Rags to Riches,Other

    Main Character Details

    Name: Victoria Woodhull

    Age: 33 for most of the book

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Badass,Aggressive,Confident,Complex,Decisive,Underdog,Outspoken,Manipulative

    Additional Character Details

    Name: James Blood

    Age: 40

    Gender: Male

    Role: Sidekick

    Key Traits: Masculine,Confident,Faithful,Gracious,Educated,Honorable,Modest,Selfless,Skillful

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Tennessee (Tennie) Claflin

    Age: 30

    Gender: Female

    Role: sidekick

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Badass,Confident,Complex,Faithful,Outspoken

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Canning Woodhull

    Age: 45

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Aggressive,Charming,Greedy,Masculine,Villainous,Unapologetic

    Development Pitch

    August 2020 is the centennial of women being granted the right to vote in the U.S., yet most people don’t know about one of the key historical figures who got us there: Victoria Woodhull. In 1872, when women were discouraged from speaking in public, much less running for office, she ran for President of the United States. Yet, her name has been virtually written out of the history books, despite this milestone, being the first woman to own/run a stock brokerage on Wall Street, and her role alongside notables such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton as an outspoken and controversial advocate of women’s rights in Victorian America. Victoria triumphed over educational, financial and gender adversity to prove that Rep. John Bingham was wrong when he said “Madam, you are not a citizen; you are a woman.” She was both a citizen AND a woman, and made history because she dared to do what no one had done before: speak up for what she believed in and challenge the exclusively male world of politics to bring women’s suffrage and their rights into the national spotlight. With films like Hidden Figures making women’s previously unacknowledged accomplishments known and the possibility of America’s first female president in 2020, now is the perfect time for Victoria’s story to be told in film or television. She was a trailblazer for many of the rights American women take for granted today and current and future generations deserve to know her name.

    Brief

    Forty-eight years before women were granted the right to vote, Victoria Woodhull dared to run for President of the United States; however, her name has been virtually written out of history books. Madame Presidentess tells her story from youth through the end of her presidential campaign.

    What We Liked

    The beauty of this story is that it’s both timeless and timely; the characterization, subject matter and journey arc are applicable to the time period while touching upon current issues. Victoria herself exemplifies a realistic and admirable woman. She combines resilience with humanity, showing that you can be caring and collected while pursuing goals vigorously. By being a strong yet flawed woman, she is believable and likable.
    In line with other women-fronted media, this story is relevant when considering the current attention on movements such as #MeToo. The issues faced today are similar to what Victoria deals with: overcoming struggles to make the world a better place for the next generation of women. Beyond these ties to our current climate, a strong journey arc is always an inherently relatable one and pushing a version of this with a female lead creates more accessibility.

    Synopsis

    Victoria Woodhull is an alpha female in an era when most men viewed women as better seen, not heard. Her story starts with her vagabond family, constantly on the move as they are chased out of towns for swindling people (which Victoria knows by trade). The only thing that keeps Victoria sane from this lifestyle is her ability to talk to spirits such as her spirit guide Demosthenes, an ancient Greek philosopher. Victoria’s world changes drastically when 28 year-old "doctor" Canning Woodhull – a falsely educated salesman – marries her at 14 and takes her to San Francisco.
    Victoria painfully realizes Canning’s deception, as he is both physically and mentally abusive. They have a child, Byron Woodhull, who is mentally disabled due to Canning abusing Victoria while pregnant. With the weight of this on her, she persists by becoming a seamstress for a theater company and then eventually an actress for them. Canning and Victoria have a daughter, Zulu. With a little girl to care for, Victoria soon realizes she has been manipulated by men for too long and must start carving out her own path to be an example for her daughter. Part of this choice comes from Demosthenes’ spiritual advice, which Victoria strengthens by opening her own sanctum to talk to spirits in St. Louis. The sanctum leads her to her future husband, Colonel Blood. Thanks to his progressive thought, he empowers her to follow her dreams throughout the rest of her journey Civil unrest forces Victoria’s hand; unable to be in a city without her same views, she moves to New York City with Blood. Victoria puts her effort behind helping the voiceless through being a spiritual talker and healer to women in brothels. It is here where Victoria finally discovers the women’s suffrage movement. Advice from Demosthenes lands her an adviser position with Cornelius Vanderbilt, who gives her a cut of all his earnings. Victoria uses the funds to open her own brokerage firm – the first one owned by a woman ever.
    Successfully achieving her goals does not come without downsides; she runs into criticism and hurdles through chauvinistic taunts and vulgar cartoons. Victoria, frustrated with the lack of women's representation in politics, decides to run for President. It is an insane notion because women don’t have voting rights at this time, but Victoria moves on persistent as ever. Though she loses, this event lit the fuse for the women’s suffrage movement. The worth of Victoria’s efforts didn’t culminate within her various jobs or moments of passion – it lives on in more and more women today.

    About The Author

    Nicole Evelina is a historical fiction, non-fiction, and women's fiction author whose five books - Daughter of Destiny, Camelot's Queen, Been Searching for You, Madame Presidentess and The Once and Future Queen: Guinevere in Arthurian Legend (nonfiction) - have won more than 30 awards, including three Book of the Year designations.