There are a lot of things I love about being a member of the Taylor Swift fandom, but I think what I love the best, besides Taylor herself, is the ability of Swifties to mobilize for the greater good and get. Sh*t. Done. For example? Petitioning to have Blue Blood republished. Beyond the way that Taylor interacts with her fans, the obsessive Easter egg hunts we go on, and the incessant guessing games we play, we really know how to make ourselves heard, and this most recent push has been building ever since Taylor dropped Folklore last summer.
She told several stories throughout the album, most with plotlines of her own devising. In one song, however, she introduced the real-life story of Rebekah Harkness, a previous resident of Taylor’s Rhode Island home and, during her lifetime, one of the wealthiest women in America. Touching on the ghosts of Holiday House’s past in “The Last Great American Dynasty,” Taylor sparked a genuine interest in Rebekah’s life among fans.
When I first saw someone bring up Blue Blood (The story of Rebekah Harkness and how one of the richest families in America descended into drugs, madness, suicide and violence), I was lurking in a Taylor Swift Facebook group. (Actually, it was a private My Favorite Murder crossover group, if you care.) The 1988 novel was published about Rebekah’s life and is right up my alley. I quickly scoured the internet for a copy, but, as it turns out, Blue Blood is out of print and nearly impossible to get your hands on.
I was up for the challenge until I realized how impossible “impossible” really is. Members across several groups (yes, I am in several Taylor Swift groups) would comment about the length of the waitlist at libraries hours from their homes, share eBay listings for hundreds of dollars for beat-up old copies, and lament the lack of Kindle access. And, unless you’re Jeff Bezos (and who would want to be?), you’re probably not splurging $600 to $2,240.94 on an Amazon listing.
For over a year, this wishful thinking continued. It spread across groups, with an occasional thrift shop find, but the majority of us never really thought we could do anything more than pine after the novel. I gave up on the venture and made peace with the idea of never reading it.
But one among thousands took the matter into her own hands, doing something so absurdly smart that I never would’ve thought to do myself. Tiffany, a member of one of my Facebook groups (seriously, don’t @ me), casually tweeted at author Craig Unger to see what it would take to get the book republished.
I’ll talk to my agent. How big is the group? He’ll want to know so he can sell it to a publisher. Thanks
— Craig Unger (@craigunger) June 16, 2021
“I saw someone had posted they had the book the other day, and I scoured the Internet for one,” Tiffany tells Her Campus. “When I didn’t see any, I just thought I’d tweet him and ask. I’ve seen the influence Swifties have – there’s so many of us that I knew there’d be a way we could cover the cost without it being crazy for any of us.”
I, for one, am ready and willing to pre-order immediately.
Unger responded, promising to bring the proposal to his agent. While this singular Tweet hasn’t gained much traction (yet), I’ve seen the hundreds of comments that come pouring in each time this book is mentioned in a group. I’ve also witnessed the power that the Taylor Swift fandom wields before, and I’d go so far as to say it’s on par with the power that Taylor herself holds. Swifties have rallied their support behind several causes not directly related to supporting Taylor in the past.
One of the most notable instances of Swiftie power? When they swarmed behind Delta Rae, a band that left Big Machine Records around the time of Scooter Braun’s acquisition (the timing was coincidental but incredibly beneficial) to go independent. When Delta Rae tweeted this announcement, posting a link to a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money to fund their next album, the replies were flooded with Swifties standing behind them. Within 24 hours, the campaign had reached $150 thousand; the goal was 30 thousand.
Tiffany’s Tweet may have not yet garnered a lot of attention, but history has proven time and time again that Taylor Swift’s fans have the power to accomplish anything they set their minds to. If you, too, would be interested in reading the Rebekah Harkness story, throw your support onto this Twitter thread, then sit back and watch what Swifties can do.