Sunday, June 6, 2010

Remembering the Ladies

Remembering the Ladies is subtitled A Century of U.S. First Ladies 1789-1889; Ann Covell provides short biographies of the White House hostesses (read further to see why I don't say wives) from Martha Washington to Frances Cleveland. The sketches are not limited to the First Ladies' time in the White House but also their early and later lives. Watching this video will give readers an idea of the stories they will encounter in reading Remembering the Ladies.

Despite common knowledge that a U.S. First Lady is the wife of the President; the author chooses to include other women that served as hostess to the White House including daughters, daughters-in-law, nieces, sisters, and even an aunt. When I checked dictionaries I got conflicting info about the definition of First Lady. defined First Lady as "the wife of the president of the U.S...." while Merriam-Webster said "the wife or hostess of the chief executive of a country or jurisdiction."  I decided to settle the score by checking the White House website and although not directly defined, only wives of Presidents are listed as First Ladies.
Despite Remembering the Ladies not being what I expected I did enjoy taking a quick trip through 100 years of history through the eyes of the women of the White House. 

This book was provided to me through Bostick Communications; I received no monetary compensation.


Ann Covell said...

It would be interesting to know what the reviewer expected from this book. Did I get the title wrong, I wonder!! I would love to hear from her direct.

Thanks for taking the trouble to post your review, which has given me food for thought.


Renee said...

I expected the book to only be about First Ladies - which we Americans think of as the wives of the Presidents. You included many other women that served as hostesses for the Presidents but were not their wives. I guess we just have a different understanding of the word I did enjoy reading the book; just expected to only read about Presidents' wives

Ann Covell said...

Thanks for your swift response, Renee. I can see what you mean, and I did include the stories of those wives who were dfeceased when the husband became President. I did want to get over in the book the trials and tribulations facing those presidential women who acted as official hostess of the nation, in comnparison to the4 modern First Lady. I think that the presidential women of the first hundred years of the presidency were really, really courageous, and I would love to have known most of them. I also think ALL Americans are fantasti8c folks - I just love you all and your country. Glad you enjoyed the book.