The Education of Mrs. Henry Adams
Marian Hooper Adams--Clover, as her friends called her--was an accomplished photographer and a witty, irreverent free spirit who moved easily within the cultural circles of nineteenth-century Boston. Why, then, in 1882, at the age of forty-two, did she swallow a lethal dose of potassium cyanide? And why did her husband of thirteen years fail even to mention her in his autobiography, The Education of Henry Adams?
These and other questions are explored in this first paperback edition of Eugenia Kaledin's pathbreaking biography. The book re-creates the intense intellectual, cultural, and moral life of Boston and New England before, during, and after the Civil War and helps us to understand what could drive such a gifted, intelligent, and privileged woman to take her own life. Included is a portfolio of Adams's photographs of her husband and his famous circle.
"This very readable book is an excellent example of how women's biography should be written. Kaledin is very sensitive to class as well as to gender issues; the book is also a study in class and its discontents."—Carol Hurd Green, coeditor, Notable American Women: The Modern Period
"Kaledin's excellent study combines intellectual history, the history of education, and family and women's history. . . . It underscores the fundamental tensions between head and heart that lie deeply embedded in American culture."—Journal of American History
"Largely because Kaledin, as a feminist scholar, takes her subject seriously and does not see Clover mainly as an interesting new 'angle' on the Adams family, she has written a worthwhile book about the opportunities and limitations of a talented woman in the late nineteenth century."—Anglia