The Washingtons: George and Martha, “Join’d by Friendship, Crown’d by Love”

We rated this book:


This book promised to uncover the little known tale of the Washington’s marriage, showing that Martha deserves a place beside George for her heroic efforts in helping George politically and emotionally. It had high aspirations, but, unfortunately, was bound to fail. The issue is the source material. George and Martha had near constant letter correspondence; however, Martha understandably did not want anyone reading those letters; her solution was to burn them. Needing a new main authority, the author turns to strange and confusing writings. The most cited source is the invoices sent by the Washington’s to various craftsmen, which somehow are used as reliable data with which to gauge the status of a marriage. Letters to and from friends and relations are also frequently referenced. There was never a possibility any sort of case could be drawn from such vague sources. Barely tangential stories are smashed in to fill space; too much detail about uninteresting people, places, and things make the book seem contrived and trying too hard.

As an introduction to Revolutionary War history, it might be worth reading, were it not so poorly sourced and edited. What it really needs is some nice, excising editing to be cohesive.

Reviewed By:

Author Flora Fraser
Star Count 2/5
Format Hard
Page Count 448 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 03-Nov-2015
ISBN 9780307272782
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue February 2016
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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