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Feb. 10th, 2009

Neat! I just love stuff like this.

"Contrary to popular opinion, even among some historians who should know better, Martha was not fat when she married George. Yes, she liked to read the Bible, but she devoured gothic romance novels, too. She capably ran the five plantations left to her when her first husband died, bargaining with London merchants for the best tobacco prices. And unknown to most, while George was courting her she had another suitor, a Virginia planter with much greater wealth and stature. In a little-known letter, Charles Carter wrote to his brother about what a beauty she was and how he hoped to "arouse a flame in her breast."

"He was clearly sexually excited by her," said Patricia Brady, a historian who wrote the first revisionist biography of Martha a few years ago. "When Martha decided to marry George, she didn't marry him just to be a kind stepfather to her two children. He was a hunk, and I think she decided to make herself happy. People are just starting to see her as a real person."

- - -

Is it just me, or does Martha Washington look a lot like Helen Hunt?


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 10th, 2009 09:08 am (UTC)
The bastard child of LeeLee Sobieski of Helen Hunt, I'd say.
Feb. 10th, 2009 09:14 am (UTC)
erm, I meant AND Helen Hunt.
Feb. 10th, 2009 09:27 am (UTC)
What a gorgeous woman she was! No wonder George Washington wanted her! :-)
Feb. 10th, 2009 10:04 am (UTC)
I read this the other day and I loved it. I wish she hadn't burnt their correspondence.

I am so glad that she's being portrayed more in the light of her younger years and as a young, sexual woman instead of an old biddy.

She does look like Helen Hunt. You are so right.
Feb. 10th, 2009 11:37 am (UTC)
It seems so strange to me that historians assume that Washington must have been in love with Sally Fairfax and not Martha Custis. Is it so strange to believe that he loved both of them? That perhaps he loved them for very different reasons?

Conversely, is it unthinkable admit that our nation's first president may have been something of a rake? Or perhaps just inherently flakey? ;)

We know so little about these relationships. Surely there are more compelling narratives than, "Washington loved and lost and settled."
Feb. 10th, 2009 12:51 pm (UTC)
i completely thought that was helen hunt. martha, what a babe.
Feb. 10th, 2009 04:14 pm (UTC)
I love hearing stuff like this. One gets a little tired of hearing about our "Founding Fathers" all the time. Um, hello? There were WOMEN in the colonial times as well.

Personally, I saw the picture and went "WTF is my friend Carol doing on Beth's blog?" I need to dig up a copy to post.

Oh! And I totally thought of you last night. I was playing an online MMOPRG and get a cool item -- a plague doctor mask! Yes, I squeed.
Feb. 10th, 2009 04:55 pm (UTC)
Kick ass! And yes, I see Helen Hunt and Lee Lee Sobieski.
Feb. 10th, 2009 05:40 pm (UTC)
Maybe she burned their letters because they were x-rated! I love that painting - and I love the dress in that fab shade of black-eggplant.
Feb. 10th, 2009 06:30 pm (UTC)
I am going to be completely shallow here but I NEED those shoes!!
Feb. 11th, 2009 02:13 pm (UTC)
That's apparently a co-worker of mine who posed for that picture. Only she usually wears glasses, so I only knew once another co-worker pointed it out.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )