Renowned historian John Sweet offers a riveting Revolutionary Era drama of the first published rape trial in American history and its long, shattering aftermath, revealing how much has changed over two centuries—and how much has not.
On a moonless night in the summer of 1793, a crime was committed in the back room of a New York brothel—the kind of crime that even victims usually kept secret. Instead, seventeen-year-old seamstress Lanah Sawyer did what virtually no one in US history had done before: she charged a gentleman with rape.
Her accusation sparked a raw courtroom drama and a relentless struggle for vindication that threatened both Lanah’s and her assailant’s lives. The trial exposed a predatory sexual underworld, sparked riots in the streets, and ignited a vigorous debate about class privilege and sexual double standards. The ongoing conflict attracted the nation’s top lawyers, including Alexander Hamilton, and shaped the development of American law. The crime and its consequences became a kind of parable about the power of seduction and the limits of justice. Eventually, Lanah Sawyer did succeed in holding her assailant accountable—but at a terrible cost to herself.
Based on rigorous historical detective work, this audiobook takes us from a chance encounter in the street into the sanctuaries of the city’s elite, the shadows of its brothels, and the despair of its debtors’ prison. The Sewing Girl’s Tale shows that if our laws and our culture were changed by a persistent young woman and the power of words two hundred years ago, they can be changed again.
Lanah has been raped. Due to many different situations, there is a trial. And what a trial it became. It changed many lives and had repercussions for years.
Now, I usually don’t read history. I will read memoirs or biographies. But, this story sounded intriguing. And boy does it fit the bill! It did get a little slow in places but I enjoyed learning about this time period. I do not think much has changed for women. I honestly think they face the same issues Lanah faced back in the revolutionary era. And this is sad. But read this and I believe you will agree.
I learned so much. And when I have a story which has me researching, I am hooked and this one had me wanting to know more. However, there is really nothing more to know. This book includes every available aspect, down to all the players….even the brothel owner. And then there is Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Such great history and I had no idea.
I actually went to NYC in March and visited many of the places in this book. So, I felt like I was right there. Add in this great narrator, Gabra Zackman, and you have a fabulous historical account of a basically unknown issue.
Need a well researched, true history story…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.