George Washington's Beautiful Nelly: The Letters of Eleanor Parke Custis Lewis to Elizabeth Bordley Gibson, 1794-1851

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More About This Book

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Nelly, the adopted daughter of George Washington, her grandmother's second husband, kept up a 60-year correspondence with her devoted girlhood friend Elizabeth. The collecton is ably edited by the publications director at the Historic New Orleans Collection. In Nelly's letters can be traced the passage of a Virginia belle of unique privilege into a mature woman who had a share of unhappiness in the premature deaths of her children and other family problems. The letters are expressive; Nelly (1779-1852) is forthright in her attitudes about the evils of slavery, the need for culture, the frustrations of societal expectations for women. Peppered with domestic gossip of the Washington household, the letters also take the reader through a distracting maze of family relationships springing from this well-connected daughter of the early republic. (Oct.)
Library Journal
This collection of intimate, chatty letters from Washington's adopted daughter to her lifelong friend in Philadelphia charts the narrowing compass of her life, from youthful exuberance as the darling of the president's family and a well-educated observer of public life to an embittered wife of an unambitious, aloof husband and a mother who watched her children die. The letters brim with the stuff of private lives--marriage prospects, family doings, church matters, local gossip, health, and weather--but are silent on the great public issues of the day, save for Lewis's gushing during Lafayette's triumphal tour and one veiled comment on slavery. Revealing much about the daily concerns of a Southern woman over a lifetime, these letters remind us that, even as the nation was coming apart, the private worlds of women (and men) were held together by family, faith, and friendships. Recommended for college libraries.-- Randall M. Miller, St. Joseph's Univ., Philadelphia
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570031243
  • Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1996
  • Series: Women's Diaries and Letters of the Ninet
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

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