Martha Washington

Martha Washington

First Lady of Liberty

Book - 2002
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Baker & Taylor
A portrait of the wife of America's first president explores her true role in her relationship with her husband and places her in a period of social climbing, love affairs, slavery, and political triumph.

Book News
Currently a barrister in London, Bryan was born and raised in Virginia, and traces her ancestry to the Revolutionary period when Martha Washington resided there. As an adult, a general curiosity about Martha Washington led Bryan to conduct the research resulting in this book, which reveals "a complex picture of a woman who was very much a product of an earlier period in American history, and who simply cannot be understood in terms of twentieth-century attitudes." Includes 23 b&w illustrations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Ingram Publishing Services
A contempary anecdote not only confirms that Martha commanded respect in her own right during her lifetime, but also suggests an awkward truth later historians have preferred to ignore-that without Martha and her fortune, George might never have risen to social, military, and political prominence.Toward the end of his life, George Washington, war hero, retired president, and object of universal fame and veneration, was negotiating to purchase a plot of land in the new capital city, to be named in his honor. The seller, an aged veteran of the Revolution, was reluctant to part with the plot, even to so distinguished a purchaser. Washington persisted until the veteran's patience snapped: 'You think people take every grist that comes from you as the pure grain. What would you have been if you hadn't married the Widow Custis!'
-from the Introduction to
Martha Washington: First Lady of Liberty

From the glittering social life of Virginia's wealthiest plantations to the rigors of winter camps during the American Revolution, Martha Washington was a central figure in some of the most important events in American history. Her story is a saga of social conflict, forbidden love affairs, ambiguous wills, mysterious death, heartbreaking loss, and personal and political triumph. Every detail is brought to vivid life in this engaging and astonishing biography of one of the best known, least understood figures in early American life.

& Taylor

Profiling the wife of America's first president as the then-best-known woman in America whose reputation was heralded throughout Europe, a portrait based on new research identifies her true role in her relationship with George and places her in a period of social climbing, love affairs, slavery, personal tragedy, and political triumph.

Publisher: New York : Wiley, [2002]
Copyright Date: ©2002
ISBN: 9780471158929
Branch Call Number: 973.41 WASHI BRYAN
Characteristics: xiii, 432 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: First lady of liberty


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