Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte


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Following every lead in a collection of family letters, Hodes traced Eunice's footsteps and met descendants along the way.


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This story of misfortune and defiance takes up grand themes of American history—opportunity and racism, war and freedom—and illuminates the lives of ordinary people in the past. The women of the Revolution were most active at home, organizing boycotts of British goods, raising funds for the fledgling nation, and managing the family business while struggling to maintain a modicum of normalcy as husbands, brothers and fathers died.

This incisive and comprehensive history illuminates a fascinating and unknown side of the struggle for American independence. Account Options Sign in. Top Charts. New Arrivals. Switch to the audiobook. Sensitive, poignant, thoroughly fascinating.


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In Wondrous Beauty , Carol Berkin tells the story of this audacious, outsized life. Wondrous Beauty is a riveting portrait of a woman torn between two worlds, unable to find peace in either—one a provincial, convention-bound new America; the other a sophisticated, extravagant Old World Europe that embraced freedoms, a Europe ultimately swallowed up by decadence and idleness. A stunning revelation of an extraordinary age. Carol Berkin received her A. She is currently Baruch Presidential Professor of History. Reviews Review Policy. Published on. Flowing text.

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Flag as inappropriate. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders. More in autobiography. See more. Catherine Kerrison. Although the three women shared a father, the similarities end there. Once they returned home, however, the sisters found their options limited by the laws and customs of early America. Harriet Hemings followed a different path. She escaped slavery—apparently with the assistance of Jefferson himself.

Leaving Monticello behind, she boarded a coach and set off for a decidedly uncertain future. For this groundbreaking triple biography, Kerrison has uncovered never-before-published documents written by the Jefferson sisters when they were in their teens, as well as letters written by members of the Jefferson and Hemings families. She has interviewed Hemings family descendants and, with their cooperation, initiated DNA testing and searched for descendants of Harriet Hemings.

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Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte by Carol Berkin

The richly interwoven story of these three strong women and their fight to shape their own destinies sheds new light on the ongoing movement toward human rights in America—and on the personal and political legacy of one of our most controversial Founding Fathers. Martha Hodes. Captive of the Labyrinth: Sarah L. Winchester, Heiress to the Rifle Fortune. Mary Jo Ignoffo. The first full-length biography of Sarah Winchester, the subject of the movie Winchester starring Helen Mirren. Since her death in , Sarah Winchester has been perceived as a mysterious, haunted figure.

She began building additions to the house and continued construction on it for the next twenty years. Her disapproving father, William Patterson, proved right in his opposition. The pregnant and humiliated American bride had meanwhile been refused entry to France and was forced to return to Baltimore. Betsy would never marry again and would press her claims to the Bonaparte name and fortune almost until her death, seven decades later at age The sad, fascinating story is told from Ms. Berkin notes that society hoped it was witnessing a fairy tale match between Beauty and Prince Charming.

Betsy Patterson never got over her first disastrous choice.

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She had suitors for most of her remaining life but feared remarriage might cloud whatever claims her son might have as European nobility. Their efforts at noble recognition were rejected again and again. Betsy was instead an early feminist with a skeptical wit, shocking fashion choices, and solitary travel. She used what money she salvaged from her ex-husband and father to make herself a millionaire, partly from bonds purchased during the American Civil War.

Patterson-Bonaparte went so far as to press her inheritance claims in a dramatic trial in French courts, only to lose yet again. But Dr. Elizabeth Patterson could never get over her tempestuous relationship with her father, rushed into an unwise marriage, allowed her husband to return to France on a separate ship, and struggled with the politics of marrying a Bonaparte at the height of the Napoleonic wars.

She was capable, headstrong—and blind.

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This is Dr. The author does a remarkable job of explaining the position of women in society and how Betsy navigated a truly cruel situation.

Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte
Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte
Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte
Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte
Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte
Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte
Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte
Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte

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