“Alice + Freda Forever is a gut-wrenching story of love, death, and the dangers of intolerance.”--Bustle
In 1892, America was obsessed with a teenage murderess, but it wasn’t her crime that shocked the nation–it was her motivation. Nineteen-year-old Alice Mitchell had planned to pass as a man in order to marry her seventeen-year-old fiancée Freda Ward, but when their love letters were discovered, they were forbidden from ever speaking again. Freda adjusted to this fate with an ease that stunned a heartbroken Alice. Her desperation grew with each unanswered letter–and her father’s razor soon went missing. On January 25, Alice publicly slashed her ex-fiancée’s throat. Her same-sex love was deemed insane by her father that very night, and medical experts agreed: This was a dangerous and incurable perversion. As the courtroom was expanded to accommodate national interest, Alice spent months in jail–including the night that three of her fellow prisoners were lynched (an event which captured the attention of journalist and civil rights activist Ida B. Wells). After a jury of “the finest men in Memphis” declared Alice insane, she was remanded to an asylum, where she died under mysterious circumstances just a few years later.
Alexis Coe is the award-winning author of Alice + Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis (soon to be a major motion picture). Coe has frequently appeared on CNN and the History Channel, and has contributed to The New York Times,… More about Alexis Coe