Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The General and Mrs. Washington: The Untold Story of a Marriage & a Revolution” as Want to Read:
The General and Mrs. Washington: The Untold Story of a Marriage & a Revolution
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The General and Mrs. Washington: The Untold Story of a Marriage & a Revolution

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  182 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
This biography of George and Martha Washington establishes their place in history, captures their personalities and the deep love they had for each other.
Hardcover, 406 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Sourcebooks
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The General and Mrs. Washington, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The General and Mrs. Washington

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Bekah Porter-Sandy
Aug 23, 2011 rated it did not like it
Things I learned about George Washington via this book:
1. He LOVED to dance.
2. He LOVED to buy snazzy clothes.
3. He LOVED, LOVED, LOVED to dance.
4. EVERYTHING he EVER did was AWESOME beyond all belief.
5. He LOVED to ride his horse EVERY DAY.
Seriously, this book made me understand why the publishing industry is straggling along on life support.
Why, oh why, oh why didn't an editor step in at some point and say, "Listen, Mr. Author, I know you're a brilliant historian, and I know that there's not
Kelly Korby
May 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Patriots/History fans
I'm surprised there has been so many negative things said about this book,even without having a particularly low rating.This book is absolutely fantastic!
There is so much little-known knowledge in here about Martha Washington that probably deserves it's own book.The sheer effort she gave to the cause of the Revolution and the sacrifices she and her husband made are the things of legend.She was responsible for knitting various articles of clothing during the stay at Valley Forge,entertaining troo
Aug 28, 2014 rated it liked it
SUMMARY: Here is the story of the fateful marriage of the richest woman in Virginia and the man who could have been king. In telling their story, Chadwick explains not only their remarkable devotion to each other, but why the wealthiest couple in Virginia became revolutionaries who risked the loss of their vast estates and their very lives.

REVIEW: This book was a strange combination of boring chapters that read like laundry lists and fascinating chapters that included lots of interesting tidbits
Tay Mueller
Jan 22, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: history
I haven't actually finished this biography yet, and the more I read, the less likely that is to occur. The author likes to repeat himself. In the first chapter, I learned that George was tall. I learned it 4 or 5 times. sometimes within a paragraph of the last time.

I have been reading this at the same time as another bio of Martha, and so far the most interesting thing is how much the two books contradict each other.
Nancy Hendrickson
Sep 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
One of my favorite books about the Washingtons. Lots of little-known details - like Martha probably saving George's life at Valley Forge when he was seriously ill.
The General and Mrs. Washington: The Untold Story of a Marriage and a Revolution tells of the relationship George and Martha Washington experienced over a long marriage. Martha was an extremely wealthy widow when George met her and they seemed meant for each other. George met her in early March, visited her home in late March, and again in May sat which time, he proposed marriage to her. She accepted his proposal and they were married in the following January.

Her money allowed George to repair a
Chris Jarvis
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Simply outstanding! Such good writing here that I immersed myself into the 1700s and the lives of the Washingtons.
Apr 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
After a couple years of wanting to reread this book, I finally am. This is still after a couple of years and a lot of books, one of my favorite books, written by my favorite author. I love Bruce Chadwick's writing style because it's fairly simplistic and easy to follow. I think that history authors can tend to delve too much into the technical aspect of historical events and figures. I think that Bruce Chadwick accomplishes very well what people want most out of history, something to connect to. ...more
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Chadwick increases our admiration for George Washington, and gives us a glimpse into how exceptional Martha and his marriage to her were.

Chadwick tells of their lives up to their meeting and what the marriage may have meant for each. For Martha it was a chance to enjoy family life with a man of her own generation. For George it seemed to be companionship, maybe a rebound and access to the upper reaches Virginia society.

While I knew GW freed his slaves, I was unaware of his lifelong objection to
Oct 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
An interesting look at Washington as a young, unmarried man and a look at Martha's life as a young, unmarried lady, later a young widow, and the problems she encounters at that time in her life. We learn some small details about George...he was very detail oriented and kept good records of everything pertaining to his Mount Vernon farm. He loved to dance and was quite good at it. Dancing was a very popular social event and he often could outlast the best of them on the dance floor.

Their marriag
Feb 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
We know so much about George Washington but precious little about Martha and their life together. The marriage began as a union of property and privilege. George was in love with the wife of a friend. Martha, the richest widow in Virginia, needed a father for her children. Together they became beloved to a nation and each other.

In this book I learned more about Martha and her incredible work to help her husband throughout the Revolution. She kept Mount Vernon running in the planting and harvest
Apr 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
Did not finish because I found it unreadable.

It felt like a HS or undergrad research paper, poorly strung together with pointless minutiae that, instead of adding to the depth of the story, jarred me back to the fact that this was REALLY POORLY WRITTEN.

I first highlighted on page 3... and then also page 4, where the author describes George Washington as 6'3", 200 pounds, and gigantic/giant. We see these stats TWICE within these two pages. Where was the editor? This was my first red flag.

This is not a comprehensive biography of either George or Martha Washington. It does not delve deeply into George's political philosophies or his military decision making, and hardly touches on his interactions with the other founding fathers. Instead, the author focuses on Washington's personality, his love of farming and his Mount Vernon home, his indulgent attention to his stepchildren and grandchildren, and his relationship with his adoring public. The chapters focusing on Martha describe th ...more
J M Padoc
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. While I also noticed some mistakes and inaccuracies and repetitions, as other reviewers have noted, I did not find that those issues lessened my enjoyment of the narrative. I found that I learned a great deal about the person of George Washington and how he was as a family man--things that we don't get to learn in the course of our classes in U. S. history. I gained a deeper respect for the man beyond just the legendary warrior. I also developed a respect for Mrs. ...more
Jun 01, 2012 rated it liked it
I enjoyed that this book focused on Martha Washington, her strengths and weaknesses. I found it readable and somewhat informative, but when I ran across a line that said Martha learned the skills that all well-bred girls learned, such as "making clothing on a spinet", I was troubled. I stopped and looked up "spinet". Did Martha learn to spin wool on a spinning wheel for weaving cloth to be made into clothing? Or is there an obscure definition of "spinet" that is not a musical instrument and is, ...more
Mar 27, 2011 rated it liked it
This book felt more like a string of facts and research linked together rather than a cohesive narrative. I learned a fair amount about the couple, and didn't care for some of what I learned. While Washington talked up being anti-slavery, he did nothing about it on the governmental, waiting until his deathbed to free his own slaves. He sent U.S. troops to war against the indigenous inhabitants of our country, wishing they would drop their native ways and become farmers like white people. He gamb ...more
Dec 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a really good book that goes into the private lives of George and Martha Washington. It discusses their lives, how they met, their romance, and how she went to be with George when he maintained winter quarters, such as Valley Forge, during the American War of Independence. I would have never thought, but theirs was truly a love affair that never dimmed. Additionally, the author discusses how, when George and Martha got married, Washington totally adopted her children, treated them as if ...more
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-stack
I'm not much for non-fiction but I try to read at least one biography a year in addition to a book about teaching. Inspired by our trip to Mount Vernon I checked out this, wait, really a biography. It was wonderful. It read more like a story than anything, with short vignettes alternating between a focus on the General and a focus on Lady Washington. Only enhanced by our trip, I learned a lot more from this very well-written book. The chapters were short capsules so I knew ...more
Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
There wasn't much of "an untold story of a marriage and a revolution" in this book. In the prologue, the author says that Martha Washington burned all the letter between George and Martha upon his death, so there are no "untold" tales. Much of his reference was books/articles/phamphlets written at the time that added commentary on the era in general, but not the Washingstons specifically. I now want to visit Mt Vernon again (I haven't been there since my 8th-grade class trip), but, on the while ...more
Jul 14, 2015 rated it liked it
A decent biography for an introduction to America's first First Couple. It doesn't delve very deeply into the details of the Washingtons' lives, providing more a basic chronology rather than the detailed description of married life the title would lead one to believe. But then, it's a commercial history book, at just over 300 pages of narrative, so there isn't much room to dwell on individual events.
Dec 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
i love history so this book was interesting to me, might not be interesting to everyone. my mom loves reading about american history fromt he 1700's so she has literally every book written about all the major players in the American revolution and building of a nation period. this book really is good. i learned so much about GW and MW. Gave me a whole new respect for them and for GW especially. what a great man.
Oct 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, I finally understand the Revolutionary War and George Washington's part in organizing the military and encouraging them through the long, stormy winters. Since I lived in Virginia for a few years and visited Mount Vernon several times, I had a good visual for the story. I thought it was a very good history lesson review for me. Much more interesting than my 1970's textbooks!
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I have never read about the relationship between Martha and George or about their family. Loved the personal look at the family including insights into what George Washington was really like...loved dancing, gambling, and wine. But more importantly, we see how much this couple sacrificed and how rough life was back then.
Mar 22, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a fantastically written book. It was pretty elementary. Not much analysis -- mostly just the facts. Didn't learn much that I hadn't already read. For someone who doesn't have much knowledge of the Washingtons or Colonial or Revolutionary America it is a good basic book. Very pro-Washington and one sided.
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I knew very little about George Washington's life, and this book is written in such a way that I wanted to learn more with each chapter. It brings to life a man who no one living has known and makes him so vivid. I especially like the descriptions of his relationship with his adopted daughter.
May 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! We see statues and paintings of George and Martha Washington looking very stoic, and this fleshes them out! I enjoyed seeing the people being in relationship with one another, and perservering despite obstacles and tragedies.
Sep 03, 2008 rated it liked it
I liked the insight that this book provided into the lives of the founders of our nation. It was interesting to understand the societal background as well as the nature of the times they lived in. It was a little dry - but a good read for anyone who wants to understand our founding families.
Mar 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Interesting. Was a slow read for me, but I'm not much on non-fiction reading. Seemed a bit repetitive (ex: General Washington was quite the dancer and that was stated many times). Learned a lot more about Martha than I'd ever known and admire her now.
Mar 21, 2012 added it
Really enjoyed learning about the Washington's as people
Laura Schrillo
Jul 02, 2011 rated it liked it
I feel like I did get to know Martha Washington. However this a bit dry.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Washington
  • The Ascent of George Washington: The Hidden Political Genius of an American Icon
  • Patriarch: George Washington and the New American Nation
  • A Little Revenge: Benjamin Franklin and His Son
  • George Washington on Leadership
  • Waking Giant: America in the Age of Jackson
  • Andrew Jackson
  • The Kennedy Men: 1901-1963
  • Jefferson's Secrets: Death and Desire at Monticello
  • The Mayflower Compact
  • For Liberty and Glory: Washington, Lafayette, and Their Revolutions
  • Mr. and Mrs. Madison's War: America's First Couple and the War of 1812
  • Nixon's Darkest Secrets: The Inside Story of America's Most Troubled President
  • The Women Jefferson Loved
  • I Hated to Do It: Stories of a Life
  • Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence
  • Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush
  • The Grand Idea: George Washington's Potomac & the Race to the West