Madame Restell

by Jennifer Wright is the riveting historical account of the highly unusual woman who provided Gilded Age New York with birth control and abortions. Born Ann Trow in England in 1812, she came to America with her husband and, upon his death, struggled to make ends meet in New York’s slums. She learned from a local apothecary about birth control and how to perform surgical abortions, restyled herself as Madame Restell, and began providing much-needed medical services to women of all backgrounds and from all classes across New York. Meanwhile, Madame Restell’s stature grew--she became one of the wealthiest women of her time--along with her notoriety, as she was pursued by religious groups, lawsuits, and scandal. Wright chronicles this fascinating woman’s life along with the history of sexism that frequently dogged female medical practitioners and kept women from accessing medical care. (Non-Fiction)