The year 1895 was filled with memorable historical events: the Dreyfus Affair divided France; Booker T. Washington gave his Atlanta address; Richard Olney, United States Secretary of State, expanded the effects of the Monroe Doctrine in settling a boundary dispute between the United Kingdom and Venezuela; and Oscar Wilde was tried and convicted for gross indecency under Britain’s recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offense. When news of Wilde’s conviction went out over telegraphs worldwide, it threw a small Nevada town into chaos. This is the story of what happened when the lives of its citizens were impacted by the news of Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment. It is a chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing.
“Paulette Mahurin’s first novel is surefooted and unflinching in its portrayal of a singular and unique character and her compelling struggles. Compassionate and confident, Mahurin allows Mildred’s story to burn through onto the page with all its inherent outrage and tenacious, abiding love. Here is a character we can champion—flawed, striving, surviving— and fully embrace in her awkward, beautiful navigation of a world that resists her in every way.” Deb Norton, Playwrite/screenwriter of The Whole Banana
“If you need to question your values, read this book! The author captures the intolerance and hypocrisy of a 1895 Nevada town, and its transcendence in time through tolerance and understanding. The angst and pain that two women feel daily, living the ‘lie’ of their lesbian relationship, and the prejudice they must endure, is unconscionable. I was moved to tears by their struggle in the face of the conflicted values that continue to dominate our ‘modern’ society.” William K. Fox, PhD, Professor of Zoology
Paulette Mahurin, an award-winning author, is a Nurse Practitioner who lives in Ojai, California with her husband Terry and their two dogs–Max and Bella. She practices women’s health in a rural clinic and writes in her spare time.
“One can survive everything nowadays, except death, and live down everything except a good reputation.” Oscar Wilde
Telegraphs clacked around the world with the breaking news of the conviction of Oscar Wilde. Mr. Wilde, noted celebrity and one of the most successful playwrights, novelists, poets, and short story writers, suf- fered a stunning defeat when he was sentenced to two years of hard labor in prison after being convicted for “gross indecency.” Wilde’s case, one of the first tried under Britain’s recently passed Criminal Law Amendment Act, criminalized sexual activity between members of the same sex, thus changing people’s attitudes about homosexuality from a mood of pity and tolerance to hatred and abuse.
The unofficial buzz in the tabloids was that Wilde was caught in the act with another male, Lord Douglas, the son of the Marquis of Queensberry, and Victorian London would have none of it. The news of trial and conviction spread fast and furiously to towns large and small around the world, exactly the kind of news story Red River Pass, a small town in Nevada, relished.
All profits from Paulette Mahurin’s book, The Persecution of Mildred
Dunlap, are going to Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center, the first
and only no-kill animal shelter in Ventura County, CAm where the author
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PRESS ARTICLE:VC STAR Sept. 9, 2012 Sunday Life Section: