Avey, Author and Presenter
Sharon Avey has entertained the public with living history
presentations for over fifteen years. The presentations represent an
accumulation of a lifetime of personal research. Since childhood she
has been inspired by a fascination with Victorian times, an interest
that has carried over to her adult life. She began to collect antiques
in her teens and has now acquired an extensive collection of Victorian
clothing and everyday household items.
She has been an avid student
of history for many years, and is now Historical Education Coordinator
for a courthouse museum in California. Over the years, she has
developed a series of hour-long presentations on dozens of related
topics. Recreating the lives of ordinary and famous
women is also her passion. Among them Queen Victoria; Sarah Royce, a
pioneer woman; Clara Foltz, a lawyer and suffrage leader; Madame
Modjeska, an actress; Clara Barton, the originator of the Red Cross;
and women pioneers who traveled the emigrant trails.
It became apparent
to Sharon many years ago that people were eager to know more about
Victorian history in America. Therefore, she began to give
presentations and performances for schools, historical societies, bar
associations and women's
clubs, to name a few.
Her award-winning artifact collections have been
displayed at historic sites, museums, library galleries, and
businesses. With her own personal style, she promotes history by
dressing in Victorian clothing she has collected and designed.
In the course of her research, Sharon discovered Clara Shortridge
Foltz, America's first practicing woman lawyer. Her curiosity was
piqued by the short biography she read, so she began to look for more
information on this fascinating woman. To her amazement she found no
book on Clara and only scant biographies which repeated the same
information. Thus began a personal quest to give Clara Foltz her
rightful place in history. After years of research, Sharon performed a
Clara Foltz vignette for the California Federated Women's Club
regional convention. The response at the reception was overwhelming.
Everyone wanted to know more, so she decided to continue the Lady
Lawyer presentation. The entertaining presentations are being
presented to this day.
During her six-year association with a local law school,
met and associated with scores of law professors, attorneys and
judges. Many are affiliated with state and national organizations and
were anxious to help her research her book on the Lady Lawyer. Her
network of writing associates include David Duncan, a professor of
legal writing and department chair; June Casey, an author of 15
published romance novels; and Dr. Lawrence deGraaf, a professor of
history at California State University, Fullerton.