Diamonds and Deadlines

‘Diamonds and Deadlines’:

A Gilded Age Tycoon and Suffragist


Historian Betsy Prioleau Discusses Her Latest Book


Best-selling author and historian Betsy Prioleau will speak about her latest book, Diamonds and Deadlines: A Tale of Greed, Deceit, and a Female Tycoon in the Gilded Age, at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum. The event, which will feature a lecture and book signing, was originally set for Saturday, April 9, at 6:00 pm in the Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium. The event has been rescheduled for Thursday, April 21, at 6:00 pm in the Planetarium.


Diamonds and Deadlines is the first major biography of the glamorous and scandalous Miriam Leslie – a titan of publishing and an unsung hero of women’s suffrage.


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. At her death, she dropped a bombshell: she left her multimillion-dollar estate to women’s suffrage – a never-equaled amount that guaranteed the passage of the 19th Amendment.


Advanced praise for Prioleau’s masterful biography of Miriam Leslie comes from Arianna Huffington, Kirkus Reviews, and Publishers Weekly.


“Betsy Prioleau restores this fabulous, pioneering woman to her rightful place in history with novelistic flair and zest.” – Arianna Huffington


“They just don’t make characters like this anymore. Kudos to Prioleau for her gallant historical rescue mission.” – Kirkus Reviews


Find out more about Prioleau at her website: 


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