Friday Review: The Letters Of John and Abigail Adams

The Letters of John and Abigail AdamsThe Letters of John and Abigail Adams by John Adams

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have long been a fan of Abigail Adams. Though she was largely educated by her mother and grandmother (having been determined to be too sickly for public education), she became one of the most intelligent and knowledgable women of her time. She was an advocate for women’s rights long before it was a popular idea, and was almost as involved in politics as her husband.

The letters in this volume were written while John was in Philadelphia and other cities as a delegate to the First Continental Congress, and later while he was in Europe as an ambassador. They not only serve as a history lesson on the progress of the War of Independence, but shed light on the politics and other dealings of both Abigail and John. John relied on her for advice and counsel on many matters, and she did not hold back her opinions. The close relationship they had, despite his long absences from home, is always evident.

The book took me a while to read. Most non-fiction does, and this one was a bit more so because it is written in the rather formal style of the 1700’s. Many words are used differently than they are today, and it sometimes took a bit to untangle the meanings. Still, it was a fascinating read, and one any American history buff would probably enjoy.

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