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Violinist Maud Powell and Trumpeter Edna White At a time when most women stayed home to raise children, these women thrilled millions with their performances. Maud was the first instrumentalist to record for RCA Victor in 1904. Edna played the first ever solo trumpet recital in Carnegie Hall in 1949. Their personal lives were tumultuous. At 35, Maud ignored her mother's disapproval to marry the man she loved. Edna left her first husband to marry an opera singer. Tour the Wild West with them; learn how early recordings were made; observe the rampant racism at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and the Jim Crow South. See vaudeville through Edna's eyes. Experience the hardships she faced during the 1930s Depression when she and her son had only hard boiled eggs to eat. Get your copy now!
 Praise from critics, musicians and readers for WOMEN WHO DARED 
“Susan Fleet dares to uncover important stories about musical women. Read this important book to discover what women have accomplished in Music.”      -- Virginia Eskin, Concert pianist, Northeastern University artist in residence   “Susan Fleet is an expert on American female musicians who deserve wider recognition in the history of jazz and classical music.”-- Matt Morrell, "Jazz at WGBH", WGBH-FM, Boston "Fleet's insightful writing, filled with contextual information and accompanied by photographic and audio documentation, makes for a compelling introduction to this long-awaited book."      -- Monique Buzzarté, trombonist and Meet-the-Composer Soloist Champion
Forgotten Heroines  -- Grady Harp, HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE, February 12, 2012  “Susan Fleet has a new project of great interest to those who love music. Visiting Edna White in a nursing home stirred Fleet’s interest. Edna White had been an important and highly regarded trumpet player in the years before women musicians were considered `acceptable'. Not only did she play the cornet at Carnegie Hall, she returned some years later to again perform as soloist in the same great hall, this time on trumpet.   But that is only a sidebar in the multifaceted life and career of this great lady. She was born in 1892, endured the prejudice against women instrumentalists, and formed her own Edna White Brass Quartet. Her life was full of colorful events mirroring the wild change in women's rights both in voting and in the field of the performing arts. She died in 1992 - after her interviews with Susan Fleet. This inspired Susan to learn about other talented yet forgotten women instrumentalists.      Maud Powell (1867 - 1919) was a gifted violinist who despite prejudices at home traveled to Europe to study her instrument. Returning to the US she found difficulties finding work until she made an appearance playing the Bruch Violin Concerto. This opened doors for her and she [later presented] the American premiers of two of the most beloved violin concertos in the repertoire - the Dvorak concerto and the Sibelius concerto! In her brief life of 52 years she did more for the cause of promoting women as superb classical musicians than just about any one else! Her life, like Edna White's is presented in all of the fascinating aspects that Susan Fleet could gather. This book … will add to the important history of the women's rights movement as well as to the history of famous musicians of the past.”     
Introducing genuine cultural heroes -- Howard Mandel, July 8, 2012    “When I was a kid I read biographies of American heroes, including Kit Carson, Buffalo Bill, Ethan Allen, Lewis and Clark -- and had someone handed it to me, I would have naturally included Women Who Dared in that list. As Susan Fleet clearly, concisely and candidly tells their stories, Edna White and Maud Powell advanced the frontier of American culture just as the explorers, scouts, pioneers and showmen did, facing different but no less daunting challenges: authoritarian presumptions about the "proper" role of women in the world of concert music.      Neither of Fleet's heroines was born to privilege and neither enjoyed lives of ease, but both were successful, artistic performers, attracting and enriching broad audiences, traveling widely, establishing themselves (and often their collaborators) on the basis of their talents and determination. Both women had familial encouragement and both were ultimately recognized for their artistic excellence by men in their fields, though this did not in itself lead to their ultimate accomplishments. Their successes came from their own efforts. And as Fleet describes them, citing her own research and primary sources, both women lived lives of self-fulfillment, adapting as necessary to the overall developments in U.S. society from the end of the Civil War to the start of the Clinton presidency.      Fleet's encapsulations of the careers of Annie Oakley, Amelia Earhart and Babe Didrikson Zaharias flesh out what she writes about White and Powell. The 125 years covered in this brief book witnessed the self-liberation of women on several fronts, and while there's not a lot of detail about the suffrage movement, little discussion of flappers or women in the military or changes in couture, Women Who Dared provides a sense of a world in transition, moving towards a sense of gender equality which we have not completely attained even today. The descriptions of music made me long to hear what Edna White and Maud Powell played. I appreciate the visuals -- wish there were more -- and references provided. Men and women, girls and boys should know about these trailblazers, as Susan Fleet has, with neither pretense nor apology but instead proudly, portrayed them.”
Inspiring, August 9, 2013 By Cyrus “Definitely worth a read! Susan Fleet places each of the women in a historical timeline prior to going into a biography. This really shows the reader what society, the country and the world were going through. This really does put a lot of these strong women into prospective and shines some light onto why they were so revolutionary.” Learning about amazing women!, September 20, 2012 By Julia Towner “I read this book in one sitting. The way Susan wrote this book brought me into the lives of these amazing trailblazing women! The extras about Annie Oakley and others was interesting as well. As a good book should, it makes me want to learn more on my own - thank you Susan!”