book Martha Washington on white flowered tea service

image: book Martha Washington by Patricia Brady with Anne's tea service on table runner hand-embroidered in Hungary

|| 24 March 2023

First Lady Books

Every Saturday during my mid-morning tea break, I always read the book review section of the Wall Street Journal. That section reviews a good many books on history and politics. I find a lot of books that interest me in those reviews.

Recently in the WSJ book section, Rebecca Boggs Roberts, the author of Untold Power:The Fascinating Rise and Complex Legacy of First Lady Edith Wilson gave her choices for the five best books on America’s First Ladies. I was surprised (and pleased) to see #1 on the list was Martha Washington by Patricia Brady published in 2005. I featured this book on a 5 o’Clock Tea in May 2020.

Rebecca Roberts describes the biography as a “nuanced and thoroughly researched portrait of our first first lady.” She defines the wife of the first US president as “smart, captivating, independent and even a little sexy.”

Second on the “best 5” list is Catherine Allgor’s A Perfect Union about the life of Dolley Madison, wife of the 4th US president James Madison. I have this book on my audiobooks to order list.

Other books on Rebecca Boggs Roberts’ “best 5” list: My Memoir by Edith Bolling Wilson (1938), No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin (1994) the life of Eleanor Roosevelt, and Lady Bird Johnson by Julia Sweig (2021).

While Edith Wilson’s memoir might make interesting reading, I think I would read Rebecca Roberts’ book on Edith Wilson for the fuller story.

Martha Washington 5 O’Clock Tea

be chic, stay slim — Anne Barone