Ever heard of Rue Winterbotham Carpenter? I hadn't either until I ran across Emily Evans Eerdman's blog, EEE. With the help of Bart Swindall, historian of Chicago's Auditorium Theater, she has brought to light an important figure in Chicago's artistic history. Eerdman was inspired by a passage in Arthur Meeker's 1955 book Chicago with Love:
"[Rue Winterbotham Carpenter]...was the most brilliant woman I have ever known. How is it possible, in mere written words, to give those who never met her some idea of her achievements and her charm? Nevertheless, I am going to try...Many others enjoyed a longer and more intimate acquaintance and have better right to speak of her than I: but alas! none of them's a writer. She has been dead now for nearly a quarter of a century, during which time nobody has come forward to give her her due, to explain what she meant to Chicago and the Chicagoans of her time: Let me say what I can."
I'm not going to spoil this discovery for you; just read Magnaverde Unveils Rue Winterbotham Carpenter, Part I, and A Day on the Town with Magnaverde and Rue, Part II. You'll thank me.
For more on the life of Rue, see the book on her husband, John Alden Carpenter: A Chicago Composer by Howard Pollack and For Members Only: A History and Guide to Chicago's Oldest Private Clubs by Lisa Holton.