In a bygone era when twentieth-century Proper Bostonians mixed Beacon Hill formalities with countryside pleasures, Margaret Pearmain Welch (1893-1984) defied the mores of her social set and got away with it. She was the epitome of everything expected and much that was scandalous. Known as a debutante, dancer, world traveler, and hostess, she was also an indefatigable activist, writer, lecturer, lobbyist, fundraiser, and opinion shaper--grande dame as well as proverbial little old lady in combat boots (footwear more appropriate to confrontation than tennis shoes). A descendant of seventeenth-century dissenter Anne Hutchinson and just as independent, she embraced Quaker ideals of religious tolerance, conscientious objection, and civil liberties, as well as worship without the benefit of clergy. Margaret was the quintessential socialite who established Waltz Evenings in her Louisburg Square drawing room and also the beauty whose marriages and divorces caused ostracism. At the same time, she worked tirelessly on women's suffrage, reproductive rights, world peace, environmental protection, monetary reform, land conservation, and more. As the indomitable matriarch of an extended family and chronicler of its history, her efforts at self-fashioning produced a unique persona, blending insistence on proprieties with a keen awareness of twentieth-century social, cultural, political, and economic shifts. ""Elizabeth Fideler tells the story of Margaret Pearmain Welch (1883-1984), who, despite her privileged status as a member of Boston's social elite, chose the life of a pioneer in her tireless advocacy of controversial causes. . . . By skillfully interweaving both the personal and political, Fideler lends depth and enrichment to her narrative and illuminates the turbulent history of twentieth-century American reform movements."" --Marjorie Wechsler, Professor of History Emerita, Lesley University ""Drawing on formidable archival research, Fideler tells the story of Margaret Pearmain Welch, her life among intertwined Bostonian families, and her developing interest in women's rights, pacifism, workers' rights, and economic injustice. Partly from Welch's own writing, a portrait emerges of an intelligent, surprisingly unconventional woman."" --Marcia McClintock Folsom, Professor of Literature, Wheelock College ""Elizabeth Fideler's biography of Margaret Pearman Welch introduces us to an extraordinary woman. Born to wealth and gentility on Beacon Hill, this Boston aristocrat evolved into a New Deal Democrat and Quaker peace activist and feminist. Fideler not only details a fascinating life, but tells us much about twentieth-century American activism."" --Thomas Hamm, Professor of History, Curator of the Quaker Collection, Director of Special Collections, Earlham College ""I knew and worked closely with Margaret Welch as a young state legislator on some key environmental issues when she was one of the few environmental advocates walking the halls of the Massachusetts State House. She was a force of nature--tough, persistent, unafraid, at a time when a woman lobbyist was a rarity. Her story is a must read."" --Michael Dukakis, Former Governor of Massachusetts. Professor, Northeastern University Elizabeth F. Fideler (EdD, Harvard University) is a Research Fellow at Boston College's Center on Aging and Work. She is the author of Women Still at Work: Professionals Over Sixty and On the Job (2012) and Men Still at Work: Professionals Over Sixty and On the Job (2014). She is a longtime trustee of the Framingham (MA) Public Library and chairs the library's ""one book, one community"" initiative.