Over a hundred years before pussy hats and mass protests in Washington DC, New York and elsewhere across America, women who had opinions of their own were asserting themselves, sometimes from the confines of asylums. Throughout the 19th century charges of insanity were brought against ironically strong-minded women, often by family members, especially husbands, who were eager to curb their independence.

For one such case read A Cure for Cecily by Annabelle Troy, free on Amazon through Feb. 6: