Nancy Rubin Stuart

Author & Journalist


Why do I write? Why do you read? Is it to be entertained, to learn about other ways of life, to explore new ideas and worlds – to live more widely than you could in a single lifetime? Those are some of the reasons why I write. But there is one more – to illuminate the forgotten lives of women who have contributed so significantly to our world today. 

You’ll find some of their lives depicted in my books described below.

  • Defiant Brides: The Untold Story of Two Revolutionary-Era Women and the Radical Men They Married

    Two wealthy Revolutionary-era teenagers defy their parents and marry political radicals. The first, the voluptuous Boston brunette, Lucy Flucker of Boston, wed poor bookbinder, Henry Knox.  The second, the beautiful blonde Philadelphia belle, Peggy Shippen, weds military hero Benedict Arnold.  Their lives are changed forever. One bride becomes a patriot – and the other, a spy. 

    "One of the best books of 2013", -- Mindy Todd, The Point, WCAI Cape and Islands NPR Station

  • The Muse of the Revolution: The Secret Pen of Mercy Otis Warren and the Founding of a Nation

    Mentored by John Adams, Mercy Otis Warren was America's first woman playwright and female historian of the American Revolution.  This award-winning biography illuminates the life of one of America’s forgotten Founding Mothers and reveals how Warren's provocative writing spoke for the voiceless women of the late eighteenth century.  

  • The Reluctant Spiritualist: The Life of Maggie Fox

    A dramatic account of the 19th century teenage who co-founded spiritualism and dallied with a famous Arctic explorer which reads like a soap opera. Today Maggie's impact upon spiritualism still resonates with those who practice channeling, visit mediums or ponder the possibility of life after death. 

  • American Empress: The Life and Times of Marjorie Merriweather Post

    This best-selling book traces the glittering life of one of America's most glamorous and generous heiresses. Dubbed the Duchess of Washington, D.C. and the Queen of Palm Beach, Marjorie Merriweather Post hobnobbed with monarchs, American presidents, first ladies, senators and diplomats. American Empress traces her rise from middle-class Midwestern roots to the pinnacle of America's high society.

  • ​Isabella of Castile: The First Renaissance Queen

    Queen Isabella was one of the most fascinating monarchs in European history -- a passionate lover to her husband Ferdinand of Aragon, co-conqueror of the Muslims of Spain, sponsor of Columbus on his Atlantic journey, admirer of the Italian Renaissance and initiator of he Spanish Inquisition. Like many contemporary women, Isabella was torn between her official duties, her marriage and child-rearing concerns. Was she a visionary, a saint or a she-devil? 

  • ​The Mother Mirror: How A Generation of Women Is Changing Motherhood in America

    Should a mother stay home with the children even though that means less family income? Take a “mommy track” job? Or focus upon career advancement while placing her children in day care and after-school programs? Should she postpone pregnancy until her late 30s or early 40's – understanding that fertility drugs, in vitro pregnancy or surrogate motherhood may be in the offing? The answers are as challenging today as when The Mother Mirror was first published. 

  • ​The New Suburban Woman: Beyond Myth and Motherhood

    The suburbs, which relied upon cheap fuel and free womanpower, changed rapidly during the 1980s as revealed by interviews with 400 women across America. Composed as suburbs were evolving from traditional sanctuaries of home and hearth into  residential enclaves surrounded by  vibrant business centers, The New Suburban Woman captures the evolution of the traditional American dream. 

Reader Reviews

  • On Defiant Brides:

    ​"For the lover of American history, this was a great book...The work was well annotated, and researched, easy and enjoyable to read and comprehend. Recommend for those who enjoy lite history biographies and women’s studies."

    —Good Reads

  • On ​Isabella of Castile:

    “Nancy Rubin makes use of Prescott and in a sense pours old wine in new bottles. Her Isabella is more accessible than Prescott's pius queen. She also very ably puts Isabella in the proper perspective as the co-founder of modern Spain (at least from a geographic perspective)... but as Ms. Rubin's book ably demonstrates, she was much more than that.”

    —M.A. Newman

  • On The Reluctant Spiritualist:

    “The Reluctant Spiritualist is non-fiction but reads like a fast-paced whodunit. The mystery is whether spiritualism is a fact, or a fraud cooked up by two bored teenage girls in a farmhouse in mid-nineteenth century upstate New York.”

    —Stuart Ellison

  • On American Empress:

    “A fascinating & entertaining account about one of America's forgotten outstanding women. I learned far more about the American Revolution and how it affected ordinary people by reading The Muse of the Revolution than I ever learned in my American history class.”

    —Sonia Ibanez

  • On The Muse of the Revolution:

    “A fascinating & entertaining account about one of America's forgotten outstanding women. I learned far more about the American Revolution and how it affected ordinary people by reading The Muse of the Revolution than I ever learned in my American history class.”

    —LS. - Manhattan