Review by Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Both Abigail and John Adams decried long separations during their marriage (while acknowledging them as necessary for the greater public good), but the unintended legacy of such trials were the thoughtful, loving, and literate letters exchanged by the couple that open a window on the birth and early years of our republic. This volume, the third to be transcribed from the original manuscripts, is the first to include selections from the entire body of the Adams' correspondence, from their courtship (when John addressed Abigail as Miss Adorable) until Abigail left the White House near the end of John's presidential term, reminding him, I want to see the list of judges. Theirs was a devoted and true marriage of minds, with Abigail the spouse who managed home (four children plus extended family) and farm, at the same time serving as her husband's eyes and ears on the home front and most valued counsel (particularly during the second term of John's vice presidency, when he considered Washington treated badly by the opposition, and presidency). Yet Adams the politician was also father and farmer, critical of his daughter's suitor in one letter and moving from discussion of a treaty to advice on spreading manure on his fields in another. Although intending this volume for reading pleasure rather than study, the editors basically retain the writers' spelling, punctuation, and capitalization, a bow to authenticity that may slow reading but helps convey the letters' times. This is a treasure, for general readers and scholars alike.--Leber, Michele Copyright 2007 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Hogan and Taylor, editors of the Adams Papers at the Massachusetts Historical Society, have given history buffs a treat-the most comprehensive edition of letters between two extremely lively writers, America's second president and his wife. This edition contains 289 letters covering a longer period of time than the two earlier editions of selected letters. Here are trenchant political exchanges, such as Abigail's famous plea to her husband and the Continental Congress to "Remember the Ladies," and Adams's less famous, revealing reply: he noted that while it was well known that the Revolution had prompted children, slaves and apprentices to rebel, "your Letter was the first Intimation that another Tribe more numerous and powerfull than all the rest were grown discontented." Many of the letters are personal, from coquettish courtship epistles to Abigail's moving premonition that the baby she was carrying would be stillborn. The letters shine a light on such aspects of daily life as illness, Sunday sermons and cuisine. Ellis's gushing foreword explains the rarity of such intimate correspondence-Martha Washington, for instance, destroyed most of the letters she and George wrote. Readers will agree that this book is a treasure. 27 b&w illus. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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