Abigail and John
Portrait of a Marriage
By Edith Gelles
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780061354120, 352pp.)
Publication Date: April 2010
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Married in 1764, Abigail and John Adams worked side by side for a decade, raising a family while John became one of the most prosperous, respected lawyers in Massachusetts. When his duties as a statesman and diplomat during the Revolutionary War expanded, Abigail and John endured lengthy separations. But their loyalty and love remained strong, as their passionate, forthright letters attest. It's in this correspondence that Abigail comes into her own as an independent woman. It's also in these exchanges that we learn about the familial tragedies that tested them: the early deaths of their son Charles from alcoholism and their daughter Nabby from breast cancer.
As much a romance as it is a lively chapter in early American history, Abigail and John is an inspirational portrait of a couple who endured the turmoil and trials of a revolution, and in so doing paved the way for the birth of a nation.
Edith B. Gelles, Ph.D., holds degrees from Cornell, Yale, and the University of California-Irvine. She has taught at several universities and is a Senior Scholar at Stanford's Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research. She lives in Palo Alto, California.