By Edith Gelles
“Fascinating...Gelles has supplied a balanced portrait, and her mastery of the period’s concerns and heritage is obvious on each web page. Her therapy of the family... [is] written with knowing and sensitivity... however it is her power as a feminist historian that makes her therapy of Abigail the main gripping... masterful and captivating.”
— Washington Times
“A landmark... Well-organized and expertly composed, the booklet is a magnificent addition to the nation’s written history.”
— Oklahoma urban Oklahoman
Readers who loved Doris Kearns Goodwin’s No usual Time, Cokie Roberts’s Founding Mothers, and David McCullough’s John Adams will love “this eminently readable… captivating and delicate, but candid and unflinching joint biography” (Daniel Walker Howe, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of the United States, 1815-1848) of America’s unique “power couple”: Abigail and John Adams.
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Extra info for Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage
Benjamin Franklin stands to Jefferson’s left. 25 He learned soon enough that he had tragically miscalculated, and thereafter jealously begrudged Jefferson his magnificent achievement, pouting that his friend had “run away with all the stage effect . . ”27 Adams did not think in those terms. He subsequently remarked that the American Revolution had been made in the fifteen years before the outbreak of the war in 1775, the period when the colonists’ “filial affections” toward Great Britain terminated.
5 Both boys were sent to school early on. Because he grew up in a New England village, Adams lived at home and attended a preparatory school in Braintree. Jefferson, who was raised in the sparsely settled Blue Ridge Mountains, was sent away for his early schooling. Each became an excellent student and eventually flourished in college, Adams at Harvard, Jefferson at William and Mary. From an early age Jefferson appears to have avidly wished to be distinguished from others in the planter elite, patricians whom he dismissed as “aristocratical, pompish, clanish, indolent .
She demurred, but as the time for his departure neared, he wrote frequently—business letters aside, Jefferson sent more letters to Maria than to any other person during the final weeks before sailing—to tell her how he longed to see her again. ”53 Yet he never asked her to leave her husband or to marry him, and that together with the wall that he erected about his heart doomed whatever chance existed for their relationship. Jefferson wanted more than a carnal affair, but as he discovered, he was incapable of ever again submitting to a deep, loving, intertwining relationship in which he fully gave himself to another.
Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage by Edith Gelles