Classify this as history as well as biography, for it is an enlightening segment in the history of the young nation. James...

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DOLLY MADISON

Classify this as history as well as biography, for it is an enlightening segment in the history of the young nation. James Madison has always seemed a fairly colorless, static figure, while Dolly, his wife, has become virtually a legend. Katherine Anthony, without doing the almost psychoanalytical dissection characteristic of some of her earlier biographies (Catherine the Great etc.) has brought Dolly Madison to life as a rounded personality, and fitted her into her period of which she was so vital a part. She was really the first First Lady, for Martha Washington cared little and made almost no contribution to her great husband's role, and Jefferson was a widower, and the Adams had almost no opportunity to establish any standards or precedents. Dolly Madison's story spans the period which included two wars, and the welding of the states into a nation. From her childhood as a birthright Quaker, through her first marriage, her widowhood, her second marriage, the story goes to Philadelphia, to Washington, as Madison served many years close to the great names of the founding fathers. There's anecdote and color and drama in the story. Critics who resent the fictionized biography of today will find no fault with this scholarly research and presentation. The general public- while the lighter touch of such a book as Janet Whitney's Abigail Adams (Little, Brown) might have been more palatable- will find this excellent reading, with so much that is dramatic in period and personalities that the story swings right along. Watch it!

Pub Date: Jan. 20, 1948

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1948