The Seduction of Miss Evelyn Hazen

  • Author(s): Ryan, Jane Van
  • Series:
  • Imprint: Jane Van Ryan
  • Publication Date: 2007-12-01
  • Status: Active
  • Available in Paper: Price $17.95 | Buy Now

Knoxville, Tennessee socialite Evelyn Hazen did something brazen, nearly impossible. In an act that defied social conventions in the 1930s, she sued her former lover for seduction and breach of promise to marry and won. When Hazen was a fourteen-year-old, raven-haired beauty, she entered the University of Tennessee in 1914. Naïve and impressionable, she fell in love with Ralph Scharringhaus, the son of a prosperous businessman. By 1917, they were engaged and dreaming of a wedding, but when the United States entered World War I Scharringhaus joined the armed forces. Their engagement would continue for fifteen years with Hazen seeking a wedding and Scharringhaus finding ways to maneuver her into bed. When in 1932 Scharringhaus severed their relationship and fled, Hazen considered murdering him but decided to sue him instead. The Seduction of Miss Evelyn Hazen recounts the events leading to the landmark case, which Hazen won. She was awarded $80,000—a fortune in the middle of The Great Depression.

Jane Van Ryan  is an award-winning broadcast journalist and communications executive. She served as a talk show host, reporter, and anchor at television stations in Charleston, S.C., Peoria, Ill., and Louisville, Ky., before spending several years at a major network affiliate in Washington, D.C. Since 1987, Van Ryan has managed communications programs for trade associations, a large corporation specializing in research and engineering, and one of America’s oldest and most respected research universities.