The Seduction of Miss Evelyn Hazen

Jane Van Ryan

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 Hazenrecounts the events leading to the landmark case, which Hazen won. 

She was awarded $80,000—a fortune in the middle of The Great Depression. NOTE: Cover Design Has Changed

1 lb
9 × 1 × 6 in