Listen to the Opening Act of Florence Fane in San Francisco, a Civil War Period Romantic Dramady
On Storybound, Our Radio-Theater Podcast
Storybound is a radio theater program designed for the podcast age. Hosted by Jude Brewer and with original music composed for each episode, the podcast features the voices of today’s literary icons reading their essays, poems, and fiction.
This special episode features the opening act of the Florence Fane in San Francisco, a Civil War Era romantic dramady inspired by real columns from the city’s most popular weekly newspaper. It’s 1863. Our lead character, Frances Fuller Victor, arrives in San Francisco hoping to publish her manuscript about the history of the West… but that meeting does not go well. Needing a job, she ends up playing the role of a saucy gossip columnist working alongside the likes of Mark Twain and Bret Harte early in their careers.
The newspaper staff works out of the Lick House Hotel Saloon—a world where Frances is entirely out of her element, and they want her to be a very different kind of person. She creates a fictional persona heavily based on her outlandish Confederate neighbor. She uses the character as a mouthpiece to speak out against everything from political hypocrisy to female beauty standards.
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Since you’re listening to Storybound, you might enjoy reading, writing, and storytelling. We’d like to suggest you also try the History of Literature or Book Dreams.