Donna M. Lucey
AUTHOR

Donna M. Lucey

Dear Readers, I've spent my career writing about the badass, unconventional women of the Gilded Age of the 19th century—women of wealth and social position who outraged society. From Evelyn Cameron, a British woman of privilege who turned her back on English society, embraced pioneer life in eastern Montana, and became one of the greatest photographers of the American West ("Photographing Montana 1894–1928: The Life and Work of Evelyn Cameron"), to a Virginia blue blood who married an Astor and outraged society by writing steamy novels about women's sexual desires ("Archie and Amélie: Love and Madness in the Gilded Age"), to my most recent work, "Sargent's Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas," which tells the stories of four extraordinary American heiresses painted by the great society portraitist John Singer Sargent, all of whom defied expectations, had illicit love affairs, and, in one case, created her own art museum. These women were self-possessed characters who created their own paths, despite the stifling conventions and road blocks they faced. Badass Women indeed! I write from the inside out—seeking out the private letters and diaries of my characters; visiting the formative places in their lives; researching in dusty archives and private attics; meeting family descendants; examining weird ephemera (locks of hair, a christening bracelet, a belt buckle of fine English silver). It's like being a detective. My books take seemingly forever—the latest took me over eight years—because I become totally absorbed in my characters, their psychologies, their eccentric lives. But that's the fun.
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