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Betsy Prioleau


Betsy Prioleau

Betsy Prioleau was born and grew up in Richmond, Virginia. Her father was portrait artist Hugo Stevens, and her home life was full of books, art and talkfests. She worked as a reporter on the Charlottesville Daily Progress and received a B.S. and M.A. from the University of Virginia.

After a Ph.D. in American literature at Duke University, she taught English and World Literature at Manhattan College, where she was a tenured associate professor. She was a scholar in residence at New York University, and most recently, taught cultural history in the New York University Liberal Studies Program. Besides scholarly articles, she has written for popular publications and authored four books: DIAMONDS AND DEADLINES (2022), SWOON (2013), SEDUCTRESS (2003) and CIRCLE OF EROS (1983).

She lives with her husband Philip in Charleston, South Carolina and New York City, and dances with her grandchild Olivia, gardens and swims when she’s not buried in books.

Betsy Prioleau

Books by Betsy Prioleau

by Betsy Prioleau - Biography, History, Nonfiction

For 20 years Miriam Leslie ran the country’s largest publishing company, Frank Leslie Publishing, which chronicled postbellum America in dozens of weeklies and monthlies. A pioneer in an all-male industry, she made a fortune and became a national celebrity and tastemaker in the process. But she also flouted feminine convention, took lovers, married four times, and harbored unsavory secrets that she concealed through a skein of lies and multiple personas. DIAMONDS AND DEADLINES reveals the unknown, sensational life of the brilliant and brazen “empress of journalism,” who dropped a bombshell at her death: She left her entire multimillion-dollar estate to women’s suffrage --- a never-equaled amount that guaranteed passage of the Nineteenth Amendment.

by Betsy Prioleau - Gender Studies, Nonfiction, Relationships, Social Sciences

Contrary to popular myth and dogma, the men who consistently beguile women belie the familiar stereotypes. As Betsy Prioleau points out, legendary ladies’ men are a different, complex species altogether, often without looks or money. Prioleau cuts through the cultural lore and reveals who these master lovers really are and the arts they practice to enswoon women.