jane’s passions

Jane Addams was a political activist who worked toward, and spoke out, for social justice, including women’s suffrage. I had heard of her but had no idea…

In  Jane Addams: Spirit in Action by Louise W. Knight, I discovered that Jane cofounded the NAACP and the ACLU, and that she was the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

She was born in 1860 and lived until 1935. She was a writer and she loved books:

Is it the child who loves books who becomes a dreamer? Or is it the born dreamer who, inevitably, loves books? Whether cause or effect, books were Jane’s passion throughout her life. The day she died, she had a pile by her bedside she was reading.

Some of her favorite characters were Jo in Little Women and Little Nell in The Old Curiosity Shop. She named Leo Tolstoy’s My Religion as “the book that changed her life.”

In a speech on the Pullman Strike in 1894, she “compared George Pullman with King Lear…” And “Need a Woman Over Fifty Feel Old” was the title of an editorial she published the Ladies’ Home Journal in 1914.

A biography of substance about a woman of substance. September 6th will be the 150th anniversary of her birth.

6 thoughts on “jane’s passions

  1. I keep encountering Jane Addams in histories of the time and biographies of other people she knew or who lived in the same area at the same time. She sounds like a remarkable person – it’s good to know that there’s an outstanding bio out there.


  2. I have a biography of her, though I don’t know if it’s the one you have, as well as a collection of her letters. You make me think I ought to take that off the shelf and place it atop the end table to be next in line. Thank you!


    • Lauren, Louise also wrote another biography of her, one that just covered her early life, I belief. It’s called Citizen. Putting whichever biography of her you have next in line would be a nice way to celebrate the 150th anniversary of her birth this month… : )


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