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Women and the World of Dime Novels

The Independent Woman

"… but she ain't he-roic—she's she-roic …"
Snaky Snodgrass; or, The Stolen Bride (43)

The independent woman of a dime novel is a woman who has spirit, fire, and drive. She doesn't sit meekly by, passively allowing things to happen to her, quietly waiting for a happy resolution. Instead, she takes an active role in her own story, even when others try to decide her fate for her. The most significant trait of the independent woman is her facility with using weapons and her willingness to use those weapons on others when needed. With many dime novels set during the Colonial period, the American Revolution, and westward expansion, these independent women have every chance to show off both their independent thought and their weapons skills.

These women are admired for their strength and for their ability to defend themselves and those they love. They never give into despair, and they always continue to fight for the things they want and against the people who stand in their way. Click on the pictures below to explore their stories.


Meet the Women:

Big-rifle Nick
Adeline Rushford
Rover of the Forest
Crazy Kate
Cedar Swamp
Catherine Vale
Marie de Mendez
Rover of the Forest
Mollie Hanley