Clover Adams A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life (Hardcover)
|Author: Natalie Dykstra|
|A revelatory life of Clover Adams, casting a lens on her iconic marriage to historian Henry Adams and her fatal embrace of photography in her last months.|
From the Publisher:
A revelatory life of Clover Adams, casting a lens on her iconic marriage to historian Henry Adams and her famously fatal embrace of photography in her last months|Clover, an inquisitive, loving, fiercely intelligent Boston Brahmin, married the older and already eminent Henry Adams at age 28. She embraced her role as intimate to political insiders in Gilded Age Washington, where she was valued for her wit and taste by such artistic luminaries as Henry James and John Singer Sargent. Clover so clearly possessed, as one friend wrote, "all she wanted, all this world could give."||And yet at the center of her story is a haunting mystery. Why did Clover, having embarked on an exhilarating self-taught course of photography in the Spring of 1883, end her life less than three years later by drinking from a vial of potassium cyanide, a chemical she used in developing her own photographs? The answer is revealed through Natalie Dykstra's original and dramatic discoveries regarding the thirteen-year Adams marriage.||The denouement of Clover's death, astonishingly, is equally compelling. Dykstra illuminates Clover's eventually iconic stature as woman betrayed. And, most movingly, she untangles the complex and poignant truth of Clover's shining and impossible marriage.
"Though Dykstra wants to narrate Clover's story as she lived it, her suicide shades every gesture, every mood, every lacuna in her short life." - Brenda Wineapple 03/04/2012 "If it is hard to bring Clover back to life, this is perhaps because her life, like that of so many women of the time, was never fully lived." 03/19/2012