The world is full of books that narrate the deeds and utter the praises of men. The lives of eminent men of our own time are made familiar to us in newspapers and magazines, in individual sketches and autobiographies, as well as in histories, dictionaries of biography, cyclopedias and other works of greater or less range of subject and extent of information. But, while many things have been written both by and for women, and much information has been published in one form and another in respect to eminent women of our age, there is not in existence, so far as the publisher are aware, any work, or series of work, which supplies the information contained in this volume , or preoccupies its field.
And it appears to the publisher that there is a demand for this very work. The discussions of the present day in regard to the elevation of woman, her duties. and the position which she is fitted to occupy, seem to call for some authentic and attractive record of the lives and achievements of those women of our time who have distinguished themselves in their various occupations and conditions in life. The knowledge of what has been attempted and accomplished by eminent women of our time is fitted to make an impression for good upon the young women of our land, and upon the whole American public. It will tend to develop and correct ideas respecting the influences of woman, and her share in the privileges and responsibilities of human life.
In selecting the subjects for the sketches here presented, regard has been had not only to individual excellence or eminence, but also to a proper represantation of the various professions in which women have distinguished themselves. For obvious reasons, also, the selection has been confined chiefly to American women.