By Edith Gelles

“Fascinating...Gelles has supplied a balanced portrait, and her mastery of the period’s concerns and background is obvious on each web page. Her therapy of the family... [is] written with figuring out 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 magnificent addition to the nation’s written history.”
Oklahoma urban Oklahoman

Readers who loved Doris Kearns Goodwin’s No traditional 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

Sample text

Before long John returned home, alerted by the bells that he, too, believed signaled a fire, only to discover the carnage on his route home. Abigail and John talked about the shooting for the rest of the evening, speculating about its significance not just for the city but, just as ominous, for themselves. The next morning, as John sat in his office, he received a visitor, the merchant 32 Abigail & John James Forrest, who would later leave Boston as a Loyalist. With “tears streaming from his Eyes,” John recorded, Forrest had come to beg John to defend Captain Preston, who was in prison.

In signing off, after many paragraphs about the several grounds for her anticipated “improvement,” Abigail once more sounded the refrain of deference that established the earliest framework of her relationship with Mercy. “I must beg your pardon for thus detaining you. I have so long neglected my pen that I am conscious I shall make but a poor figure. ” A Tye More Binding 39 If at first Abigail felt most comfortable asking Mercy for advice about mothering—a ploy to engage the intimidating older woman, certainly, given that her own mother and mother-in-law and sister were handy—the time was not distant when she would shift to another: politics.

The church at Braintree continued to provide a stable community. He had, however, gained a wife and a new status. For Abigail, everything was new. Not only had she moved away from her A Tye More Binding 21 The Adams Birthplaces in Braintree, later called Quincy, Massachusetts. The Adamses moved to the house on the right after their marriage, and Abigail lived there throughout the Revolutionary War. The house on the right was built around 1681, the house on the left sometime during the eighteenth century.

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