Susan's Reviews > Clover Adams: A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life

Clover Adams by Natalie Dykstra
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's review
Feb 08, 2012

really liked it
Read from February 15 to 20, 2012

Born Marian Hooper in 1843, she was nicknamed Clover by her besotted mother, who considered her lucky and adored her. Sadly, she died when Clover was only five and such tragedy followed Clover in her life. She was a young, privileged woman, educated and interested in current events, who had a front row seat to the American Civil War, before embarking on a European Tour. Heading towards her thirties, she married Henry Adams, journalist, author and historian and the grandson and great-grandson of Presidents. She moved with him to Washington, where young, rich and successful, they moved in the centre of the political and social world. They embarked on a tour to Europe and Egypt, returning to Washington for most of their married life. Yet, there was sadness too. The couple remained childless, Henry was distant and became besotted with a younger woman and he was also concerned about Clover's obsession with photography. This leads to the interesting question of how limited Clover was as a woman and whether Henry, effectively, limited her success and refused to allow her public applause for something he saw as a hobby. Clover committed suicide and the book looks at Henry's life after her death and the further tragedies of her family. Interesting book and fascinating woman.
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