The Queen of the Platform is my working title for my novel in progress: about the life of Ernestine Rose, who was one of the first women in the United States to actively campaign for the cause of women’s rights.
Born to a Jewish family in Poland, Ernestine Louise Susmond Potowski as a teenager rejected both religion and the marriage her father, a rabbi, arranged for her. She spent time in Berlin, Paris, and London before emigrating with her husband, William Ella Rose, to the United States in 1836. Within just a few months of her arrival in New York City, she began speaking in public and campaigning for women’s property rights. Although little known today, in the nineteenth century she was highly regarded both as a speaker and as an advocate for progressive causes. Susan B. Anthony, who often shared the platform with her, kept a portrait of Ernestine in her office and named her as one of the three women (the other two being Mary Wollstonecraft and Frances Wright) who should lead the “Honor Roll” of early advocates for women’s rights.
In my research, I’ve discovered some fascinating new information about Ernestine, and can’t wait to share it with you. I’ll keep you posted on my novel’s progress!