LOUISA: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs Adams

LOUISA: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs Adams

LOUISA THOMAS    Book Number: 88526    Product format: Paperback

Louisa Adams, wife of John Quincy Adams, the second American president in the Adams dynasty, was born in England in 1775. Her father was the American ambassador, and their house near Tower Hill saw a constant stream of diplomats attending dinners and soirées. Joshua Johnson was anxious that his daughters should marry Americans, and John Quincy Adams was soon acknowledged as Louisa's lover, captivated by her singing and finding her happy to discuss philosophy and modern books such as those by Mary Wollstonecraft. As the time came for Adams to leave, Louisa's mother Catherine, who was herself hiding the fact that she and Louisa's father were not married, asked him about his intentions and he proposed. But Louisa was wounded by his lack of ardour, and their eventual marriage was beset by misunderstandings and Louisa's consciousness of inequality. Adams's next posting was to Berlin where a new friend Pauline Neale, a maid of honour to Princess Radziwill, arranged Louisa's presentation at court and tutored her in the right clothes and gossip. Louisa started making contacts on behalf of her husband and in 1801 they finally went to America where she met her parents-in-law, the First Couple. In 1809 John Quincy was posted to St Petersburg, where the price of entry to Russian society was "a dress that broke the bank, but the price of exclusion was much worse". Paris and London followed, and finally the White House, where slavery became an issue, as Louisa's father had owned slaves. Louisa fought depression throughout her life and her travel writings reveal a woman of considerable courage. A very personal portrait. 500pp, paperback. Remainder mark.
Published price: £18
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ISBN 9780399563133
Browse this category: Historical Biography

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