Nell Brinkley and the New Woman in the Early 20th Century


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About the Book

The art and commentary of Nell Brinkley (1886–1944) ran in American newspapers from 1907 through the 1930s. At the height of her popularity, “The Brinkley Girl” appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies and inspired poems and popular songs. Brinkley’s name even sold hair curlers, and her delicate pen work influenced later women cartoonists. As early as 1913, Brinkley was drawing working women, from farm and factory workers to those pursuing careers, using her art to encourage decent pay, pensions, and housing for thousands of young women working for the war effort. This work covers her life and her work, which might upon first glance show pretty girls but on a closer inspection reveals a post–Victorian feminism. It also looks at her rise to popularity, the innocent sexuality of her Brinkley girls, the sugary and sentimental Betty and Billy series, and the beauty of her line drawings.

About the Author(s)

Writer and women’s comics historian Trina Robbins lives in San Francisco, California.

Bibliographic Details

Trina Robbins
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 155
Bibliographic Info: 116 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2001
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1151-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5071-8
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

“the first comprehensive, book-length study of the pioneering feminist cartoonist”—Journal of the American Association of School Librarians; “a story well worth checking out”—; “excellent…very intelligent analysis…intelligently and enthusiastically brings Brinkley’s story and the world of her era to brilliant life…engaging and fun to read”—Sequential Tart.