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Book Breaks with Martha Saxton and "The Widow Washington"
Gilder Lehrman Book Breaks features the most exciting history scholars in America discussing their books with host William Roka live, followed by a Q&A with home audiences.

Join us online on Sunday, May 9 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET (11: 00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT) with Martha Saxton, as she discusses her book "The Widow Washington: The Life of Mary Washington".

"The Widow Washington" is the first life of Mary Ball Washington, George Washington’s mother, based on archival sources. Her son’s biographers have, for the most part, painted her as self-centered and crude, a trial and an obstacle to her oldest child. But the records tell a very different story. Mary Ball, the daughter of a wealthy planter and a formerly indentured servant, was orphaned young and grew up working hard, practicing frugality and piety. Stepping into Virginia’s upper class, she married an older man, the planter Augustine Washington, with whom she had five children before his death eleven years later. As a widow deprived of most of her late husband’s properties, Mary struggled to raise her children, but managed to secure them places among Virginia’s elite. In her later years, she and her wealthy son George had a contentious relationship.

Yet Mary Ball Washington had a greater impact on George than mothers of that time and place usually had on their sons. George did not have the wealth or freedom to enjoy the indulged adolescence typical of young men among the planter class. Mary’s demanding mothering imbued him with many of the moral and religious principles by which he lived.

Purchase books for Book Breaks at https://bookshop.org/lists/book-breaks.
All purchases support the Gilder Lehrman Institute and independent bookstores.

Everyone who registers will be sent a Zoom meeting link and instructions in the confirmation email.

For more information, please contact us at bookbreaks@gilderlehrman.org or visit us at gilderlehrman.org/bookbreaks.

May 9, 2021 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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