Seduced by the Light is the first and only biography of Mina Miller Edison, the wife of Thomas Edison, the woman who created and shaped the myth of one of the most seminal figures in America's history. The Thomas Edison we think we know was essentially created by Mina Miller Edison. Exhaustively researched by author Alexandra Rimer, this account draws on unprecedented access to Edison family diaries, memoirs, and letters to look below the surface of the Edison family during the Gilded Age from the little-known perspective of this female protagonist.
Following his first wife’s death, Thomas Edison went in search of the next mother to his children and chose a wealthy twenty-year-old socialite from Ohio who was nineteen years his junior. What Mina did not know at the time was that Edison was a terrible father, completely neglecting his children and, ultimately, Mina herself. Absorbed in his work, he only interacted with his family at dinner, and sometimes not even then. The result was a dysfunctional family overseen by a saintly matriarch who went to great lengths to protect Edison’s reputation as well as that of his wayward children.
Alexandra Rimer has been an assistant editor at the Thomas Edison Papers at Rutgers University since 2005. She is a corecipient of the Eugene S. Ferguson Prize (Papers of Thomas A. Edison), Society for the History of Technology, 2005. She is also a frequent lecturer on Mina Miller Edison at the Thomas Edison National Historic Park in West Orange, New Jersey, where she lives with her husband, David Katz, and children Zach, Dalya, and Jacob.