Portia : the world of Abigail Adams /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Gelles, Edith Belle
Imprint:Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 1992.
Description:xviii, 227 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Language:English
Subject:Adams, Abigail, -- 1744-1818
Adams, Abigail, -- 1744-1818.
Presidents' spouses -- United States -- Biography.
Presidents' spouses.
United States.
Biography.
Format: Print Book
URL for this record:http://pi.lib.uchicago.edu/1001/cat/bib/1380498
Hidden Bibliographic Details
ISBN:0253325536
Notes:Includes bibliographical references and index.
Review by Choice Review

Concerned that Abigail Adams's numerous biographers have depicted her from a narrowly masculine perspective, Gelles seeks to examine Adams both as a unique individual and as representative of women's world in 18th-century America. Mining the extensive Adams family correspondence and drawing on a range of insights gleaned from psychology, anthropology, sociology, and literary theory, the author describes Adams's evolving ties with her husband during the Revolutionary struggle; charts manifestations of her "Domestic Patriotism" during the war years; explores the epistolary connections she maintained for a time with James Lovell and Thomas Jefferson; and analyzes her relationships with her sister and her daughter, Abigail Adams Smith. In the process, Adams's strength, courage, and wit (as well as her bouts of depression and gender conservatism) emerge more fully than they have in any previous work. Although Gelles has a tendency at times to belabor the general concepts she uses to understand her subject (for example, her overelaboration of the nature and meaning of gossip), she has succeeded in providing a well-rounded portrait of a remarkable figure. The book belongs in every college library. General; community college; undergraduate; graduate; faculty. J. K. Somerville; SUNY College at Geneseo

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Feminist historian Gelles's biography of Adams (who used Portia as her pen name) emphasizes Adams's life story over her, perhaps better-known, roles as wife of one U.S. President and mother of another. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Choice Review


Review by Publisher's Weekly Review