Books: Everybody's Grandmother

LYDIA PINKHAM IS HER NAME (279 pp.)—Jean Burton—Farrar, Straus ($2.75).

When the panic of 1873 hit Lynn, Mass., Real Estate Agent Isaac Pinkham and his 54-year-old wife Lydia found themselves flat broke. Fumbling old Isaac was crushed, but his tough-willed Quaker wife rose to the occasion. As a girl, Lydia had been a fierce Abolitionist, and she had organized a society to debate slavery and female suffrage. Her response to the new challenge: bottling and selling a home medicine she had been using for years. Ingredients: a blend of herbs, including true-unicorn and...

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