Virginia Heinlein, R.I.P.


The Los Angeles Times notes the passing on January 18 of Virginia Heinlein, the widow of libertarian science fiction great Robert Heinlein. That obituary notes her role as inspiration for many of Heinlein's strong, problem-solving female characters. It does not note that some who knew Heinlein when he was married to his first wife credit Virginia with helping embue Heinlein with the libertarian streak that informed much of his later work, particularly his American-revolution-on-the-Moon novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1967), a libertarian classic (featuring a character loosely based on libertarian lecturer Robert LeFevre.)

For a fascinating look at what Heinlein's politics were like pre-Virginia, and his involvement in the mid-1930's with Upton Sinclair's radical-socialist EPIC party ("End Poverty in California"), go here.