Diamonds and Deadlines: A Tale of Greed, Deceit, and a Female Tycoon in the Gilded Age

The first major biography of the glamorous and scandalous Miriam Leslie—a titan of publishing and an unsung hero of women’s suffrage. A fantastic Gilded Age story that speaks to the important social issues of our time.

Among the fabled tycoons of the Gilded Age—Carnegie, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt—is a forgotten figure: Mrs. Frank Leslie. For 20 years she ran the country’s largest publishing empire 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.

But Miriam Leslie was a byword for scandal. She flouted feminine mores, took lovers, married four times, and harbored unsavory secrets she concealed through a skein of lies and multiple personas, including possible mixed-race parentage and a checkered youth. At her death, she dropped a bombshell: she left her multimillion-dollar estate to Women’s suffrage—a never-equaled amount that guaranteed passage of the 19th Amendment.

A dazzling biography, Diamonds and Deadlines reveals the unknown, sensational life of the brilliant and brazen “Empress of Journalism” who presaged the feminist future and reflected, in bold relief, the Gilded Age, one of the most momentous, seismic, and vivid epochs in American history.

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