Clover Adams

Clover Adams

A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life

eBook - 2012
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A biography of one of the Gilded Age's most fascinating and mysterious society women that "reads as well as any page-turning novel" ( Library Journal ).

The hidden story of one of the most fascinating women of the Gilded Age Clover Adams, a fiercely intelligent Boston Brahmin, married at twenty-eight to the soon-to-be-eminent American historian Henry Adams. She thrived in her role as an intimate of power brokers in Gilded Age Washington, where she was admired for her wit and taste by such luminaries as Henry James, H. H. Richardson, and Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman. Clover was so clearly possessed, as one friend wrote, "all she wanted, all this world could give." Yet at the center of her story is a haunting mystery. Why did Clover, having begun in the spring of 1883 to capture her world vividly through photography, end her life less than three years later by drinking a chemical developer she used in the darkroom? The key to the mystery lies, as Natalie Dykstra's searching account makes clear, in Clover's photographs themselves. The aftermath of Clover's death is equally compelling. Dykstra probes Clover's enduring reputation as a woman betrayed. And, most movingly, she untangles the complex, poignant--and universal--truths of her shining and impossible marriage. For more information, visit
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012
ISBN: 9780547607900
Branch Call Number: EBOOK OVERDRIVE
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xviii, 357 pages)


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Mar 20, 2019

Interesting read for anyone interested in "The Gilded Age", Edith Wharton, Henry James, Presidents Adams, Women's history. I have read so many women's biographies from that time frame that I am more thankful everyday to have been born in this era. She is another woman who was intelligent (read and spoke Latin, Greek, Spanish, and French), talented, taught herself photography and was an artist herself. Since in that time 99.9% of women subsumed their talents and knowledge to further their husbands' careers she went down that path also. Whether this lead to her depression and suicide or whether it was genetic and if it could have been treated if she were living now, who knows? He seemed like a rather cold fish and she had to find friends wherever his research and writing led them within social constraints. Interesting but sad story.

Dec 15, 2011

I've recently discovered the books/letters of Henry Adams and to see this new title on his wife being ordered is very exciting!


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