The Hermaphrodite by Julia Ward Howe

Suffragist Julia Ward Howe wrote the Hermaphrodite before her feminist awakening, while she was still young and deciding her opinions on gender issues. While writing this novel, she explored what it would be like to be less restricted by gender roles, examining the world through the eyes of an intersex character.  She never published the book, and perhaps never intended to, so readers get the intimate experience of reading her book in draft form, through fragments discovered by scholars long after her death.

***We think everyone should read the Ask a Suffragist book series, but the first book in the series, America’s First Feminists, will not be available in bookstores until Spring 2019.  In the meantime, we’re sharing recommendations of our other favorite memoirs, biographies, history books and fiction by or about suffragists to get you in the mood for the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment. Happy reading! Celebrate with us! Sign up for the Centennial Celebration Email List to get social media shareables honoring women in history and to be the first to know when new Ask a Suffragist books are available.

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April Young Bennett

April Young Bennett is the author of the Ask a Suffragist book series, host of the Religious Feminism Podcast and a writer for the Exponent II. For more information about April, see

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The Hermaphrodite by Julia Ward Howe