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by Claire J. Griffin

A Rebellious Woman is based on the life story of Belle Boyd (1844-1900), whose coming of age coincided with the opening shots of the Civil War. Debutante, teenaged spy, seductress, actress, divorcee, cross-dresser, and self-promoter, she carried a pistol and wasn’t afraid to use it. In a century when a woman was meant to be nothing more than a well-behaved wife and mother, Belle Boyd stands out as a scandalous woman of history defying all the rules.

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Meet the Author

Claire J. Griffin has rowed competitively, traveled to seven continents, kayaked below the Antarctic Circle, camped in Africa, driven across the Sahara, eaten bugs, and been stung by scorpions two separate times. She has always said “yes” rather than “no” to adventure; this is likely why she identifies so strongly with Belle Boyd. Claire and her husband live in Brooklyn, New York. Claire is a fan of ethnic food, street art, riding the subway, and overheard conversations.

Press Kit


Formats:  Hardcover, paperback, E-book

Pages:  384

HC ISBN: 978-1-958754-11-5

PB ISBN: 978-1-951565-47-3

EB ISBN: 978-1-951565-48-0

Release Date: 6/8/2021


“An engaging and in places riveting story about Belle Boyd, the captivating young Confederate spy from Martinsburg, Virginia. Griffin captures Belle’s indomitable, energetic, and forward-thinking spirit. She places Belle within the context of the culture and history of her era, particularly portraying everyday life during the Civil War in Martinsburg and Front Royal in a way one can see, hear, smell and feel.” —Carol J. Appenzellar, curator, Berkeley Co. Museum, Belle Boyd House

A Rebellious Woman by Claire Griffin addresses a void in American history: the lack of authentic voices of women who defied social expectations from the 1840s through 1900. It focuses on Belle Boyd, a compelling historical figure who charted her own course in life. It is rare to find such a well-researched work of historical fiction of a woman who chose to be an active participant in the tumultuous events unfolding around her and who forged a uniquely independent life through four decades. Griffin’s A Rebellious Woman brings this remarkable character to life with its attention to historical detail as well as the development of Belle’s character from her early years as an irrepressible young girl in Martinsburg, Virginia, including her daring exploits as a spy, to her acting career and extensive travels throughout America, and, finally, to her death while she was still performing on stage in 1900 in Kilbourne, Wisconsin. Griffin’s Belle Boyd, in many ways, is a welcome antithesis to the portrayal of the stereotypical Southern belle. Her research revealed Belle’s many and varied accomplishments and experiences—an expert horsewoman, a spy, a prisoner of war, a domestic and world traveler, an author, a diseuse, and finally a woman who married three times and divorced twice, gaining and losing financial independence along the way. With A Rebellious Woman, Claire Griffin has written an American woman’s story that needed to be told.” —Dr. Adeline Merrill, adjunct professor of English, Western Connecticut State University

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