In this Book

summary
Raised in the gritty Mississippi River town of Davenport, Iowa, Cora Keck could have walked straight out of a Susan Glaspell story. When Cora was sent to Vassar College in the fall of 1884, she was a typical unmotivated, newly rich party girl. Her improbable educational opportunity at “the first great educational institution for womankind” turned into an enthralling journey of self-discovery as she struggled to meet the high standards in Vassar’s School of Music while trying to shed her reputation as the daughter of a notorious quack and self-made millionaire: Mrs. Dr. Rebecca J. Keck, second only to Lydia Pinkham as America’s most successful self-made female patent medicine entrepreneur of the time.
This lively, stereotype-shattering story might have been lost, had Cora’s great-granddaughter, Greta Nettleton, not decided to go through some old family trunks instead of discarding most of the contents unexamined. Inside she discovered a rich cache of Cora’s college memorabilia—essential complements to her 1885 diary, which Nettleton had already begun to read. The Quack’s Daughter details Cora’s youthful travails and adventures during a time of great social and economic transformation. From her working-class childhood to her gilded youth and her later married life, Cora experienced triumphs and disappointments as a gifted concert pianist that the reader will recognize as tied to the limited opportunities open to women at the turn of the twentieth century, as well as to the dangerous consequences for those who challenged social norms.

Set in an era of surging wealth torn by political controversy over inequality and  women’s rights and widespread panic about domestic terrorists, The Quack’s Daughter is illustrated with over a hundred original images and photographs that illuminate the life of a spirited and charming heroine who ultimately faced a stark life-and-death crisis that would force her to re-examine her doubts about her mother’s medical integrity.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page, Dedication, Family Tree
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  1. Contents
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  1. Prologue
  2. pp. xi-xxvi
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  1. 1. The Wickedest City in America
  2. pp. 1-19
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  1. 2. These Leap Year Girls Are Getting Awfully Bold
  2. pp. 20-34
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  1. 3. Vassar’s Crisis and Cora’s Humiliation
  2. pp. 35-49
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  1. 4. Memorable Date of Entrance
  2. pp. 50-59
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  1. 5. The Green Girls
  2. pp. 60-69
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  1. 6. Mugwumps and Oysters
  2. pp. 70-84
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  1. 7. College Pie with Tomatoes—Entirely New
  2. pp. 85-96
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  1. 8. Abandoned at Christmas
  2. pp. 97-103
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  1. 9. First Time Out from College
  2. pp. 104-120
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  1. 10. Vassar Girl on a String
  2. pp. 121-136
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  1. 11. Oh! U Wretch!
  2. pp. 137-146
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  1. 12. Only 17,000 Minutes till Our Next Vacation
  2. pp. 147-157
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  1. 13. The Girl of the Period
  2. pp. 158-169
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  1. 14. The No. 2000 Horse
  2. pp. 170-181
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  1. 15. Alas—So Vilely Played and So Carelessly Practiced
  2. pp. 182-189
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  1. 16. A Great Shock
  2. pp. 190-201
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  1. 17. The Animated Stump
  2. pp. 202-213
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  1. 18. Dear Davenport Dear Home
  2. pp. 214-221
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  1. 19. The Black List
  2. pp. 222-233
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  1. 20. My Year’s Absence from D
  2. pp. 234-240
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  1. 21. My Interesting Stranger Friend
  2. pp. 241-254
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  1. 22. The Sentimental Satellites
  2. pp. 255-269
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  1. 23. The Vassar Trio
  2. pp. 270-279
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  1. 24. U Played Just Like a Wild Girl
  2. pp. 280-286
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  1. 25. Poor Boys Who Have Become Rich
  2. pp. 287-297
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  1. 26. The Gem of the Evening
  2. pp. 298-316
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  1. 27. Life Underground and Its Dangers
  2. pp. 317-338
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  1. 28. Cora’s Heart’s Desire
  2. pp. 339-350
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  1. 29. Oh! How Little They Know. Anybody!
  2. pp. 351-357
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  1. Epilogue
  2. pp. 358-368
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 369-372
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  1. Glossary
  2. pp. 373-376
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 377-384
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 385-390
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  1. Name Index
  2. pp. 391-393
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781609382438
Related ISBN
9781609382421
MARC Record
OCLC
882104860
Pages
419
Launched on MUSE
2014-08-05
Language
English
Open Access
No
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