A Well-Behaved Scholar Makes History

How a quiet professor became an unlikely hero for feminists

When Laurel Thatcher Ulrich wrote her first scholarly article 30 years ago — an examination of funeral sermons for women in Colonial America — she never expected that a line from the opening paragraph would become a rallying cry for feminists.

You've seen the slogan on bumper stickers, T-shirts, and coffee mugs: "Well-behaved women seldom make history." It has been adopted as the official maxim of