Curriculum Vitae (Feminae): Biography and Early American Women Lawyers

Carol Sanger, Columbia Law School


In this review, Carol Sanger examines the recent surge of interest in the lives of early women lawyers. Using Jane Friedman's biography of Myra Bradwell, America's First Woman Lawyer, as a starting point, Professor Sanger explores the complexities for the feminist biographer of reconciling for herself and for her subject conflicting professional, political, and personal sensibilities. Professor Sanger concludes that to advance the project of women's history, feminist biographers ought not retreat to the comforts of commemorative Victorian biography, even for Victorian subject, but should instead strive to present and accept early women subjects on their own complex terms.