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Aug. 2, 2021

Elizabeth Packard

Elizabeth Packard was born in Massachusetts in 1816 into a comfortable home where her parents were able to provide for her education. She taught briefly at a girls’ school before at age 23 agreeing at her parents’ urging to marry 37-year-old Calvinist minister Theophilus Packard. Over the next 20 years Elizabeth was a devoted mother and housewife who grew the family’s vegetables and sewed clothes for their six children.

To the outside world, it appeared to be a contented marriage, until Elizabeth started to publicly express her religious beliefs, which were at odds with her husband’s. Theophilus questioned her sanity and threatened to have her committed if she continued. Elizabeth continued, and Theophilus kept his promise, taking advantage of the law, which allowed a husband to have his wife committed, without either public hearing or her consent.

After three years in the Illinois State Asylum and Hospital for the Insane in Jacksonville, Illinois, Elizabeth was deemed incurable and released. Then, after getting the jury trial she’d been requesting for three years, Elizabeth was finally able to share her story with the world, and she began her remarkable career as a writer and social reformer.

In this episode, Kelly briefly tells the story of Elizabeth Packard’s life and interviews New York Times bestselling author Kate Moore, who has recently published a wonderfully detailed narrative account of Elizabeth Packard’s life, titled: The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear.

Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Episode image:  from Elizabeth Packard's 1866 book, Marital Power Exemplified in Mrs. Packard’s Trial.

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Kelly 0:00

This is Unsung History, the podcast where we tell the stories of people and events in American history that haven't gotten much notice. I'm your host Kelly Therese Pollock. I'll start each episode with a brief introduction to the topic, and then interview someone who knows a lot more than I do.


Today's episode is about Elizabeth Parsons Ware Packard. Elizabeth Ware was born on December 28th, 1816, to Samuel a congregational minister and Lucy in Ware, Massachusetts. Elizabeth was the oldest of three children. Her parents were able to afford a good education for her at Amhurst Female Seminary, where she studied French algebra and the new classics. At age 19, Elizabeth taught in a girls' school. Shortly before her 20th birthday, Elizabeth's father sent her to the state hospital at Worcester, Massachusetts for mental illness. After five weeks, she was considered recovered and released back to her father. At age 23, Elizabeth, at the urging of her parents agreed to marry 37 year old Calvinist Minister, Theophilus Packard. Over the next 20 years, they had six kids together, living in western Massachusetts, and later in Manteno, Illinois. Elizabeth was a devoted mother and housewife who grew the family's vegetables, sewed her children's clothes and tutored the children. Elizabeth had strong religious beliefs, some of which were at odds with her husband's. For about four months, she attended Bible classes at her husband's church, where she started to express her opinions publicly. She went so far as to leave her husband's church to worship at the Methodist Church in town. Theophilus questioned her sanity, and warned her that he would have her committed if she continued to express these beliefs. He followed through on that promise. In 1860, in Illinois, a husband could have his wife committed to an asylum without either a public hearing or her consent, things that were required for anyone other than a wife committed by her husband. Theophilus arranged for a doctor to visit their house disguised as a sewing machine salesman, and that doctor backed up Theophilus assertion that Elizabeth was insane. As Elizabeth later wrote, "I was kidnapped in the following manner. Early on the morning of the 18th of June 1860 as I rose from my bed preparing to take my morning bath, I saw my husband approaching my door with two positions, both members of his church and of our Bible class, and a stranger gentlemen, Sheriff Burgess. Fearing exposure, I hastily locked my door and proceeded with the greatest dispatch to dress myself. But before I had hardly commenced, my husband forced an entrance into my room through the window with an axe." Elizabeth was forced out of her house and taken by train to the Jacksonville insane asylum in Jacksonville, Illinois, where she spent the next three years. During that time, she refused to say that she was insane, or to change her religious views, despite offers of release that she did so. In June 1863, Elizabeth was finally released after the doctors deemed her incurable. Back at Theophilus's house, Elizabeth was finally reunited with her children. But soon thereafter, she was locked up again, this time in the nursery of her own home. With the help of friends, Elizabeth convinced a judge to schedule a trial to prove her sanity. After a five day trial, in just seven minutes, the jury returned with the verdict. "We the undersigned jurors in the case of Mrs. Elizabeth P. W. Packard, alleged to be insane, having heard the evidence are satisfied that she is sane." Judge Charles Starr ordered that she be released and no longer imprisoned in the nursery. Before Elizabeth could return to her home, Theophilus rented out their house and moved to Massachusetts, taking Elizabeth's children and money with him. As a married woman, Elizabeth had no legal right to the property or to the children. Elizabeth devoted the rest of her life to social reform, founding the anti Insane Asylum Society and traveling around the country to call for legislation that would require a jury trial to prove insanity and to give asylum patients more rights. Through her efforts, such bills were passed in various states. legislatures. Elizabeth also published several books, including Marital Power Exemplified, or Three Years' Imprisonment for Religious Belief, in 1864, and The Prisoner's Hidden Life, or Insane Asylums Unveiled, in 1868. These publications gave her financial independence.


Elizabeth also lobbied to change the coverture laws that said that married women's legal rights were subsumed by those of her husband, and by which Elizabeth had lost her home and children. And heard Russ to the Illinois General Assembly in Springfield, Illinois, on February 12th, 1867. Elizabeth said, "Gentlemen, we married women need emancipation. And will you not be the Pioneer state in our union in women's emancipation? And thus use my martyrdom for the identity of a married woman, to Herald this most glorious of all reforms, married woman's legal emancipation from that of a sleeve in law to that of a partner and companion of her husband in law as she now is in society." The Illinois legislature responded with the passage of an act for the protection of personal liberty. Finally, after nine years, Elizabeth won custody of her children. Once they were grown, she continued to lobby for the rights of people in mental asylums. Winning over First Lady Julia Grant and President Grant to her cause. Elizabeth Packard died on July 25th, 1897, in Chicago. To learn more about Elizabeth, I'm joined now by New York Times bestselling author Kate Moore, who has recently published a wonderfully detailed narrative account of Elizabeth Packard's life, titled, The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear.


So hi, Kate, thank you for joining me today.


Kate Moore 7:03

It's my pleasure. Thank you so much for having me on your podcast.


Kelly 7:06

I am excited about this. This was a terrific book, and I am really excited to talk to you more about it. I wanted to start by asking just what got you interested in writing about Elizabeth Packard?


Kate Moore 7:21

That's a great question. And the answer is actually a little bit topsy turvy, because I hadn't heard of Elizabeth Packard, I actually have to go looking for her. And the background to that quest is that I was inspired. You know, the genesis of this book came from the inspiration of the Me Too movement in the fall of 2017. And I was really empowered by that movement, struck by it. But what really got me, you know, fired up and intrigued with thinking, why hadn't that movement happened before? You know, why was it only in the fall of 2017, that finally, women were being listened to and believed? And it sort of made me think, well, actually, for centuries, whenever women have used our voices, we've been called crazy. And that's what I decided I wanted to explore in my next book. And so, at my heart, even though I write history books, I am a storyteller. You know, my nonfiction books are all grounded in authentic historical material, you know, they're based on fact, but I write in a very novelistic way. And so what I wanted to do in exploring these issues of the way that women have been dismissed and controlled, you know, through the weapon of their mental health, I wanted to find one woman in history to whom that had happened, you know, a woman who spoke up and was called crazy because of it. And, you know, who was attempted to be silenced, you know, through this claim. And so I went looking for her. I didn't know which era of history she was going to be from. I just had to sort of fall down this rabbit warren of internet searches. And so I found Elizabeth Packard, in a random University of Wisconsin essay that I found online as part of that, you know, internet search. And she was she was mentioned just in a single paragraph four pages into this essay. And once I started looking into her story quite quickly, actually, I realized she was the one you know, the woman that I wanted to write about next because, a, she herself is an extraordinary person. She's fearless, she's resilient. She's a brilliant writer in her own right, which has been fantastic for me being able to draw on her memoirs and you know her other writings because you therefore hear from Elizabeth, this brilliant writer, in her own words about what happened to her. But b, her story has so much drama in it. And as a writer who wants to take readers on a dramatic twisty turny journey that keeps them turning the pages, it was extraordinary because it's got courtroom drama. As Elizabeth embarks on a landmark, you know, legal fight for justice. It's got a twist of gothic horror, as I can take readers, you know, inside the insane asylums of the 19th century. And above all else, it's this empowering fight for justice, starring a compelling heroine whose sheer spirit will take your breath away. So it had everything. Once I found her, I knew she was the one.


Kelly 10:37

You mentioned her own writings, her memoirs. What are sort of all the sources that you pulled together? Because there's just sort of this terrific volume of sources to get really deep into it. So what are you looking at?


Kate Moore 10:50

Well, I mean, you know, there is such a wide resource of material you can draw on in writing a book like this. So you know, one of the key elements of my research is that I wanted to find first person material, because as I say, I write in a novelistic way, and so I wanted everyone in the book to have a voice, you know, not just Elizabeth Packard, but also the husband, who decides that his wife because she dares to have her own voice and speaks up against him, you know, and decides to send her away to an insane asylum. I wanted him to have his own voice. So I was lucky enough to find his diary and his memoirs. So again, I've quoted from his first person material in the book. The same goes for Elizabeth's psychiatrist, you know, I found his letters, his writings in medical journals. And so all three of my protagonists have their own voice in the book. And, and because I wanted to essentially build this world for readers that, you know, Elizabeth is maneuvering in and is immersed in and wanted to bring that to life for readers. Other sources included, you know, the official publications of the Illinois State Hospital. I was lucky enough that they published biennial reports that included, you know, really incredible sort of breathtaking facts, such as, you know, patients like Elizabeth were set to work in the sewing room. And you can see in the asylum reports that the women made their own restraining jackets. And that was something that really, you know, shocked me. And so there's these biennial reports, I also researched in the medical journals of the time, you know, the local newspapers to bring that sort of local flavor to life. Because it's set in 1863 to 1869, I was also researching about the Civil War, you know, what were the celebrations? You know, at the time when the war ended, what was happening, you know, on the battlefield, as Elizabeth is fighting this personal battle, as the sane woman locked up in an insane asylum battling to get out, you know, because I wanted to draw some of those parallels. So it was a really wide ranging, sort of delve into this very specific period of American history. So it's ranging from first person material, right the way through to weather reports. And, you know, you know, front page newspapers and train times, even, sort of, you know, researching train times from the era to work out when Elizabeth arrived in Jacksonville, Illinois on the night she's committed to the hospital.


Kelly 13:29

So talk me through the storytelling process then. So you mentioned you write in this novelistic style, I mean, it really, it could be a novel, like, it's hard to remember, sometimes this is a real story, this is a real person. Yeah. How do you take that enormous volume of material and just her own writings alone, you know, volumes and volumes, and, and put it into a narrative? What does that process look like for you?


Kate Moore 13:55

So I'm incredibly methodical in my research process. So step one for me is that I name and number every single individual source. It has its own unique reference number. And then I plot the gems that I discover in each source into a chronological timeline. So that might include for example, the time of the train arriving in Jacksonville, what the weather was like that day, what time sunset was, you know, so that I know if it's twilight, when she's arriving. It will also include, you know, fantastic quotation from Elizabeth that really moves me, a description of her bedroom, you know, and basically, anything that I think I will use to bring this world to life goes into the timeline. And as you can imagine, that ends up being, you know, hundreds of thousands of words long. Step two, after I've done that is to, once I've plotted everything I then know all the facts of the story, and then I can start essentially having more fun with it in terms of: Okay, I know everything that happens, but when do I want to reveal it to the reader? And so I do a book blueprint, which is almost paragraph by paragraph actually of where I'm putting, you know, all this material that I found, you know, when am I going to mention that women used to make their own restraining jackets in the asylum? When do I want to talk about the shocking scientific treatments of the era that the women were having to endure. And the blueprint is where I put all of that and sort of work out the twists and turns of the story. And then I start to write, only at that point.


Kelly 15:38

You know, one of the things that makes this such a horrifying story is knowing, being able to be sort of in her mind through her writings, knowing everything that she's going through how she's experiencing it. How do you as an author, not get sort of sucked down into depression, almost like, like, you're trapped in there with her? You know, because I, as a reader sometimes would sometimes have to be like, just gonna, I was listening to the audiobook and like, I'm just gonna turn this off for a little bit step away, come back to it. Yeah. So what does that look like as as you're writing?


Kate Moore 16:12

Well, I think as I'm writing, I am immersed and depressed or angry. I think this is a book to get you angry, actually, at the sheer injustice that Elizabeth faces and the way that every door slams in her face, you know, she can't appeal to the doctors for relief, because the doctors believe that assertive women are mad. She can't apply to the law for freedom, because the law says her husband can do what he wants with her. So you know, it is a book to make you angry or depressed, as you say, as Elizabeth, you know, encounters countless other women to whom this has happened, you know, the abuse that the women face in these insane asylums. But I think actually, it's important as a writer to experience that. And to pour that into the book. And I think I'm probably, you know, it is, while you're writing it, you are feeling all those things. And I guess it's part of the job to be able to put it down at the end of the day and say, okay, step away from it and step away, once you finish the book, as well and say, you know, that that chapter is, is done. And not to, you know, fall down that hole too deeply, even though you're immersed in it as you're writing yourself.


Kelly 17:27

What do you think it was about Elizabeth, herself, that made her able to, I mean, there must have been so many women who endured things like this, who just their spirits were broken, who just said, Yeah, fine, I'll submit fine. I want to get home to my kids. I will just do and say whatever I need to do. What was it about Elizabeth who drove her to say, No, I will not submit No, no matter how hard this is, I need to keep being me and to keep speaking up against injustice?


Kate Moore 17:55

I think her faith was very important to her. And this was, you know, in part, a religious battle as well between herself and her husband, her husband was a preacher. And he was a Presbyterian preacher, a fire and brimstone preacher. And Elizabeth, ultimately completely diverged from her husband's preachings. And she, you know, initially goes to worship with the Methodists instead, you know, rejecting not only her husband's marital authority, but his spiritual authority, too. And I think what really struck me in reading Elizabeth writings was the very personal relationship she had with God. You know, she talks about them having little fallings out, you know, she spoke to him daily in prayer. And I think she's very much led by God and her faith in God and her belief that what she is doing is right. And her faith actually is strengthened by this experience of going into the asylum and being condemned for, you know, following her faith and deciding, no, I, I'm not going to listen to what my husband says, I know what I believe. And I'm going to be true to what I think is right for me to do. So. And I think actually, her faith is sort of strengthened by it. And she does actually begin to see it as a mission that God has destined her to do, you know, she's, you know, develop these sorts of capacities to fight for justice, this inner strength that allows her not only to fight for herself, but to fight for a whole sisterhood. And she sees it very much is actually in some ways a divine mission. So I think that definitely helps her. And I think as well she just has this belief that what she's doing is right, and she has this faith in herself, not only in God but in herself. She knows what her husband is doing is wrong. She can see with her own eyes that you know, this whole system is wrong, this subduing treatment, as she calls it, where she say the only way for women to be sent home from the asylums is to submit to masculine authority, whether that's that of their psychiatrists, or that of their husbands and fathers, you know, this is the only way that women can get out. Because doctors are seeing, you know, pathology in simple personality. And Elizabeth knows that is wrong. And I think that fires that up as well. She has the sort of clear headedness to be able to divorce herself from, as you say, the depression and the anxiety, and to sort of focus on what is right and true and just. And when she sees injustice, she's going to call people on it, and she's going to fight to make the world a better place. You know, one of my favorite quotes in the book actually is, "The worst that my enemies can do, they have done, and I fear them no more, I am now free to be true and honest, no opposition can overcome me." And that really informs Elizabeth's journey. And it is a journey, because at the start of the book and the start of her life, you know, she's a quiet housewife, she's only, you know, doesn't really do much to end up in the asylum. Really, you know, she does the same, strikes out on her own religiously, and she dares to defy her husband. But that's all she does. And actually, it's being in the asylum that leads her on this journey to become the woman they could not silence, to find that unsilenceable voice. And as I say, she is strengthened by this crucible of suffering. So actually, one of the answers to your question is it's through her suffering, actually, that she finds that strength and that ability to withstand what she is enduring.


Kelly 21:42

I want to pull on that a little bit, because I got that sense as well that she would not have. So she goes on after this to go and travel from state to state and talk to people and get laws passed to help other women. So you think that without having been in the asylum, that would not have happened, but you know, she could have stood up to her husband and changed maybe a small amount, but would not have then had that strength to go and change the country?


Kate Moore 22:13

I don't think so. And I think it was quite striking about reading Elizabeth's story, you know, at the start of the story, actually, you know, she begins her life, you know, she said, she's been raised to be a silent listener. And initially, she believes in the whole, you know, a woman's places in the home, and she devotes herself to that for 20 years, you know, before the book opens, she is a mother of six. She's a housewife, she's a preacher's wife. And she's sort of, you know, happy with that role and content with it. And even when she finds her own voice and her own mind, I think she would have happily stayed at home raising her children, you know, being a pillar of the community, and as you say, influencing the world in that small fear. But yeah, I think it is only because of what she endures that actually she becomes this phenomenal national figure. Who does, you know, travel from coast to coast, making the world a better place, changing things state by state, you know, fighting for the rights, not only of women, but also the mentally ill, who at that time, you know, it's it's not long since you know, people used to pay a shilling to see as they call them, the beasts, Reva Bedlam. You know, Elizabeth Packard saw the humanity in those who were mentally ill she knew they weren't these they were people who were suffering, and needed help. And, you know, that's part of her mission as well as to help those people. So she was incredibly forward thinking in in many ways, but no, I think you're absolutely right. I don't, I don't think she would have launched herself so publicly, had she not lost that domestic sphere, to which she was initially content, you know, to operate within.


Kelly 23:54

Yeah, so one of the things that really tugged at my heartstrings, was her children, so, you know, you you get to points in the story where her life is maybe not so bad, in the asylum at certain points, she has a certain amount of freedom and influence, at least at the beginning, and, you know, start to go Okay, and, you know, maybe actually, she's has a better life there than she did with her husband in some ways. And then you're reminded of her six children who are at home, and my younger son is named Arthur. And so every time you know, you'd come back to baby Arthur, you're like "nooo baby Arthur." That's the thing that I think is just so, so difficult to sort of grasp this, how she could remain so strong in the face of this is because of this idea of the children. And then she comes back to that later in life to to change laws so that women can actually get custody of their kids. You know what, as you were looking at other women, other situations, thinking about who you were going to write about, is there this sort of current of motherhood that is used to sort of keep women from speaking up, keep women from sort of going out on their own?


Kate Moore 25:09

Yeah, I think there is, I mean, I think that has long been the case, you know, and, you know, the sheer emotional, and sort of physical exhaustion of being a mother can be enough on its own to prevent when they kind of, you know, if your hands are full with children all day, every day, then it's very hard to find time to write, or to speak or to campaign, you know, and that's obviously been true, you know, all the way through just think of Virginia Woolf and, you know, wanting a room of one's own, you know, there's, there's a reason for that. And so I think, yeah, I think that there, there is very much that, um, you know, I think even later, you know, moving into the 20th century, and so on, you know, there was obviously an expectation that when a woman married, or certainly had children, that she would give up her place, her job in the wider world, you know, and dedicate herself to her children. And thankfully, that is not seen so much today. But I certainly know women who have felt they either need, you know, needed to do that, or perhaps their partners put pressure on them to do that. You know, it's a much better place, obviously, when, women can do both, and it is possible to do both. And but yes, I think I think historically, there has been a very much a little bit that motherhood can be used, whether it, whether it's overt or whether it's simply pragmatic, I think it happens countless times.


Kelly 26:33

Perhaps that is also part of the reason that she then sort of finds her voice in the asylum, because she's like, yeah, raising six kids while she's in there.


Kate Moore 26:42

Exactly. And because, you know, she becomes a writer in the asylum, you know, she starts by keeping this secret journal, you know, she's forbidden to write because even for her to have a voice on paper, it's seen as too transgressive and too dangerous, because Elizabeth is described as having a fine mind and a brilliant imagination. She's a woman described as having an irresistible magnetism. And the doctors feared her, you know, what could happen if she was allowed to write. And so she was forbidden. But Elizabeth used to steal scraps of fabric and, you know, tear out the margins of the newspapers and keep this secret journal, you know, recording, you know, herself, her thoughts, what she's witnessing. And I use the line in the book, you know, "seeing herself take shape on the page." And that was very much it. And, you know, we talked earlier about how did she stay strong, while the writing was a big part of it, because through keeping this secret journal, she could still be herself. She wasn't, you know, just this voiceless person shut up in the asylum without any way to express herself, she had, was able to express herself on paper on this secret journal. And so yes, she becomes a writer in the asylum. And of course, that didn't happen before, you know. And she actually writes in one of her books, you know, one of her fellow patients says, you know, "you're brilliant writer," because you're sharing her journal with people and the books that she writes in the assignment as well. You know, "why haven't you done this before?" And she says, obviously, I didn't have time. Because she was raising six children. And of course, being a housewife in the 19th century is even harder work than it is, you know, today when it's still hard work, but you know, she would do everything the sewing, the nursing, you know, she's designing her children's clothes, it's the gardening, it's the shopping, the cooking, you know, and you're cooking from scratch, the laundry, you know, it's just this interminable list of things. And, you know, that keep you from being a writer and Elizabeth case. And she writes that she longed to have a tie that the time that her husband had to study, and I think that is very telling in itself, you know, her husband was there able to write sermons to commit all his thoughts to paper. And it's not, it's only what you know, when Elizabeth is separated from her children and sent to the asylum that finally, she is able to record her own thoughts and develop her own intellectual prowess and sort of belief system and, you know, desire of what she finds important and what she wants to write about and to battle for.


Kelly 29:20

So, of course, as we're reading this, as we're looking at this, you want to think, well, this is all in the past, everything's changed. This couldn't possibly happen to me today. But we have cases still today we have cases like Britney Spears, who's been very much in the press lately, where, where women are still silenced. Because they speak out and you know, sometimes because they have mental illness but are silenced are kept from their kids. Can you talk some about those? You know, you went into this looking at why didn't this happen earlier? Why does it still happen?


Kate Moore 29:58

Yes, wait, now you're absolutely right I mean, and actually that was, you know, another thing that I was drawn to this story, I wanted to draw those clear parallels and actually the book does have a postscript where I make them super overt that, you know, this is not just happening 160 years ago, this is happening right up to the present day and, you know, Britney's, fortunately, a sort of chilling example where the parallels between her story and Elizabeth, you know, are really haunting. Because, you know, in Britney's case, of course, you know, she did have a mental breakdown, but this is now being used to control her for years after the event. And similarly, in Elizabeth's case, you know, the stigma of her being sent to an asylum was used against her time and time again, you know, Britney, is there fighting to get out from under the legal authority, you know, of the male family members. That's exactly what Elizabeth had to do 160 years ago. And I was really struck by two things, in particular in Britney's own testimony, one, as you say, whenever she asserted herself, you know, whether it's refusing, you know, to do the Las Vegas residency, even sort of saying, I'm not sure about that dance move, she was punished psychiatrically in her account. And the other thing that really struck me was when she talked about the way that she would, you know, post these Instagram, you know, pictures of her smiling and being happy. Well, that really evokes what Elizabeth's fellow patients have to do in Seventh Ward, in 1816. They have to become these cutout dolls, I call them in the book, you know, these women who show no sign of emotion other than happiness, you know, they're not allowed to be grief stricken to be angry, to be upset, you know, they're they're again punished psychiatrically if they mourn for the children that they've, you know, been torn away from if they say that they're homesick if they get angry at the rules to which the doctors are expecting them to submit. So that, for me was a really haunting parallel as well, this idea that women are only supposed to be you know, placid and smiling and happy and any woman who is angry or speaks out or who challenges the powers that be who isn't that pretty picture. You know, she, you know, if you're not doing that, that's when the trouble begins. And I think we see that, unfortunately, right up to the present day. And I think as well, we also see it in public figures. So Vice President Kamala Harris, for example, was called a mad woman, when she announced she was running as Biden's vice president. Hillary Clinton was called hysteric when she ran for president. So we do see, you know, that there are these overt, you know, psychiatric punishments. And we also see a lot unfortunately, in sort of domestic violence cases, or coercive control cases. And so there's that whole side of things as well as political figures, speaking out using their voices being called crazy for doing so.


Kelly 33:09

Yeah. How can people get your book, or I would strongly recommend the audio book I loved, I love audiobooks.


Kate Moore 33:17

Aw thank you, I read the audiobook myself. Thank you very much for listening. And well, I would recommend people go to my website, which is, And you can buy the books there from all your favorite retailers, whether that's Indies or Barnes and Noble. Or if you're listening in the UK, WH Smith and Waterstones. And so it's got buy links. It's got a book trailer if you want to be tempted to learn more, and it's also got all my reviews there as well. So if you're thinking, well, it sounds like a good story, but is it a good book, you can read the reviews and see what other people have said about it to make your final decision. So yeah, please visit me at And I have an author newsletter as well, if anyone wants to sign up for that.


Kelly 34:04

Excellent. And I'll put a link in the show notes to your website so people can find it there. Thank you, Kate, is there anything else that you wanted to make sure we talked about?


Kate Moore 34:13

Well, I just want to say thank you for the opportunity to talk about Elizabeth's story. You know, my passion is in bringing people's unheard voices to the fore. So if people visit my website, they can also see some of my other books such as The Radium Girls, which was a New York Times bestseller and won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best History. So if you're intrigued by this story, or if you read Elizabeth's book and you think, "I love that I'd like to read more," there are also other books and other untold stories that I've had the privilege of telling. So I hope you'll delve into them and enjoy.


Kelly 34:49

Excellent. Well thank you very much, Kate.


Kate Moore 34:51

Thank you so much. pleasure talking to you.


Kelly 34:53

You too.


Teddy 34:55

Thanks for listening to Unsung History. You can find the sources used for this episode at To the best of our knowledge, all audio and images used by Unsung History are in the public domain or are used with permission. You can find us on Twitter, or Instagram, @Unsung__History. Or on Facebook, @UnsungHistoryPodcast. To contact us with questions or episode suggestions, please email, If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate and review and tell your friends.


Transcribed by

Kate MooreProfile Photo

Kate Moore

Kate Moore is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Radium Girls, which won the 2017 Goodreads Choice Award for Best History, was voted U.S. librarians’ favourite nonfiction book of 2017, and was named a Notable Nonfiction Book of 2018 by the American Library Association. A British writer based in London, Kate writes across a variety of genres and has had multiple titles on the Sunday Times bestseller list.