vii, 405 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 357-375) and index.
"On a Saturday afternoon in New York in late 1912, around the plain wooden tables of Polly's Restaurant in Greenwich Village, a group of women gathered, all of them convinced that they were going to change the world. It was the first meeting of "Heterodoxy," a secret supper club. The goals of the group were simple: They would meet to talk about their lives, their politics, and the still-not widely recognized idea that women were fundamentally equal to men. In a move of liberation, they kept no records of their meetings, leaving them free to discuss a new term borrowed from the French: feminism. Together, the women of Heterodoxy fostered not only a community, but a movement. The club became a defining agent within the Greenwich Village radical scene in the 1910s. Its members were passionate advocates of free love, equal marriage, and easier divorce; several lived openly in same-sex relationships. The friendships of Heterodoxy made their unconventional lives possible, through its reassurance that other women felt differently about the world and wanted more from it than they had been raised to expect. Wealthy hostess Mabel Dodge invited artists to mingle with socialites and socialists at her apartment near Washington Square Park. Feminist rabble-rouser Henrietta Rodman turned the Liberal Club's headquarters into a home for plays, parties, and politics. Playwright Susan Glaspell launched the groundbreaking theater collective the Provincetown Players out of the summer home of her Heterodoxy friend Mary Heaton Vorse. For these women, everything from the way they dressed to the causes they championed was self-consciously new, and the daily pursuit of a future they were trying to imagine into being was exhausting. They needed each other; as inspiration and support, as friends and lovers. Perfect for readers of The Barbizon and At The Existentialist Café, Hotbed is the never-before-told story of the bold women whose radical ideas, unruly lives, and extraordinary friendships blazed the trail for female ambition"--,Provided by publisher.