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Abigail Adams: A Writing Life (review)

Abigail Adams: A Writing Life (review) 06-reviews 6/4/03 11:05 AM Page 326 326 Biography 26.2 (Spring 2003) Edith B. Gelles. Abigail Adams: A Writing Life. New York: Routledge, 2002. 204 pp. ISBN 0-415-93945-3, $19.95. Emotions in and around Boston overflowed on June 18, 1775 following the battle on Breed’s Hill, mislabeled for posterity by a British officer as Bunker’s Hill. Among the many witnesses who recorded their reactions to this event was Abigail Adams, whose descriptive letter to her absent husband captured the importance and shock of the moment. “The day—perhaps the decisive day—is come, on which the fate of America depends,” Adams wrote. “My bursting heart must find vent at my pen” (67). Throughout the Revolution and into the Early Republic, Abigail Adams would turn time and again to her pen to record her impressions; to distribute news, rumors, and gossip; and to moderate the solitude of the political widow. Descriptive, poignant, and at the same time, intimate and vulnerable, Abigail Adams’s correspondence left a valuable record for biographers, histo- rians, and enthusiasts of American culture. But it is a daunting body of work that could leave researchers wondering where they should begin. Edith Gelles’s newly published biography and critique—Abigail Adams: A Writing Life—offers http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biography University of Hawai'I Press

Abigail Adams: A Writing Life (review)

Biography , Volume 26 (2) – Jul 8, 2003

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 Biographical Research Center.
ISSN
0162-4962
eISSN
1529-1456

Abstract

06-reviews 6/4/03 11:05 AM Page 326 326 Biography 26.2 (Spring 2003) Edith B. Gelles. Abigail Adams: A Writing Life. New York: Routledge, 2002. 204 pp. ISBN 0-415-93945-3, $19.95. Emotions in and around Boston overflowed on June 18, 1775 following the battle on Breed’s Hill, mislabeled for posterity by a British officer as Bunker’s Hill. Among the many witnesses who recorded their reactions to this event was Abigail Adams, whose descriptive letter to her absent husband captured the importance and shock of the moment. “The day—perhaps the decisive day—is come, on which the fate of America depends,” Adams wrote. “My bursting heart must find vent at my pen” (67). Throughout the Revolution and into the Early Republic, Abigail Adams would turn time and again to her pen to record her impressions; to distribute news, rumors, and gossip; and to moderate the solitude of the political widow. Descriptive, poignant, and at the same time, intimate and vulnerable, Abigail Adams’s correspondence left a valuable record for biographers, histo- rians, and enthusiasts of American culture. But it is a daunting body of work that could leave researchers wondering where they should begin. Edith Gelles’s newly published biography and critique—Abigail Adams: A Writing Life—offers

Journal

BiographyUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jul 8, 2003

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