Consider reading Kim E. Nielsen’s The Life of Anna Ott: Money, Marriage, and Madness, either via the electronic version of this book provided by the Ebling Library or from the bookseller or library of your choice. Then, join in the Building Community/Ebling Library Book & Film Club on April 21, 2021 at 12:00 for a lunch hour conversation on the book, led by Kristin Cooper, MS, Program Coordinator, Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology. Please register here.
Here’s a little teaser for what promises to be a spirited conversation (and one of Ebling’s librarians helped with research!)
Although Anna Ott enjoyed status and financial success first as a physician’s wife and then as Madison’s only female doctor in Madison, she died in the Wisconsin State Hospital for the Insane in 1893. Nielsen explores a life at once irregular and unexceptional. Historical and institutional structures, like her whiteness and laws that liberalized divorce and women’s ability to control their property, opened up uncommon possibilities for Ott. Other structures, from domestic violence in the home to rampant sexism and ableism outside of it, remained a part of even affluent women’s lives. Money, Marriage, and Madness tells a forgotten story of how the legal and medical cultures of the time shaped one woman—and what her life tells us about power and society in nineteenth century America (from publisher website).
So many threads to unravel and explore!