In this book, Edith B. Gelles asserts that Abigail Adams' vivid, insightful letters are "the best account that exists from the pre to the post-Revolutionary period in America of a woman's life and world." Adams' spontaneous, witty letters serve dual purposes for the modern reader: it provides an intriguing first hand account of pivotal historical events and it shows how these events from the Boston Tea Party to the War of 1812 entered the private sphere. Included in the book is a chronology, notes and reference section and a selected bibliography. This book will be a must for all scholars of American literature, history and politics seeking to understand this literary figure.
Edith B. Gelles is a Senior Scholar at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at Stanford University and the author of Portia: The World of Abigail Adams, winner of the American Historical Association's Herbert Feis Award.
Acknowledgements. Chronology. The Eighteenth-Century Letter 1. Introduction: Letters as Literature 2. "Remember the Ladies" The Confidential Letter 3. Bonds of Friendship: The Correspondence of Abigail Adams and Mercy Otis Warren The Travel Letter 4. The Voyage 5. "In the Midst of the World in Solitude" 6. At the Court of St. James. Interlude The Historic Letter 7. "Splendid Misery": Abigail Adams as First Lady 8. End of the Story. Notes and References. Selected Bibliography. Index.
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