By Edith Gelles
“Fascinating...Gelles has supplied a balanced portrait, and her mastery of the period’s matters and historical past is clear 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 remedy of Abigail the main gripping... masterful and captivating.”
— Washington Times
“A landmark... Well-organized and expertly composed, the publication is a powerful 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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Additional info for Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage
Qxd 5/6/99 12:22 AM Page 38 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 S23 R24 Thursday, February 14, 1861 Cloudy and Fog. E. Moderate. Chill again. This restless weather is much like Mother’s moods, high and low, and never a clue as to what each day might bring. After morning chores I rowed across the Ditch and walked to school with the Osbourne children at my heels. Reenie, good to her word, maintained a safe distance behind. I miss William Worthington. I see Daniel in passing. He is two years older than I.
Clearing ice off the outside of the lantern glass is dangerous; it is the chore that most frightens me. I would rather take on a rescue on the stormy sea than face the ice-slick ladder and the beastly wind. I hope the glass does not ice up again tonight. qxd 5/13/99 8:58 AM Page 35 Thursday, January 31, 1861 P. Cloudy. W. Light. Received a delivery of whale oil. Uncle Edward and I sat quietly in the afternoon and gazed out at the patches of snow remaining from the storm two days ago. I stopped at the Worthingtons’ before coming to Uncle’s.
Mother nearly burned the house down last evening, though she doesn’t know it. Father was in the lantern room; he’d come early to relieve me. When I returned to the house, I smelled smoke. Mother had washed my extra stockings for me and hung them by the fire before retiring for the evening. By the time I reached them, my stockings were ablaze. Throwing water on the fire, I put it out quickly. Except for ruined stockings, a scorched fire-board, and a lightly toasted arm, all is well. Another five minutes and we might have lost everything.
Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage by Edith Gelles