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Wilton Historical Society Starts Booked For Lunch Group

Diane Jacobs's book, The Letters of Abigail Adams: The Intimate Lives and Revolutionary Ideas of Abigail Adams and Her Two Remarkable Sisters, will be discussed at the Booked for Lunch reading group.
Diane Jacobs's book, The Letters of Abigail Adams: The Intimate Lives and Revolutionary Ideas of Abigail Adams and Her Two Remarkable Sisters, will be discussed at the Booked for Lunch reading group. Photo Credit: Contributed

WILTON, Conn. – The Wilton Historical Society has launched a reading group called Booked for Lunch that will focus on books with historical connections.

The first meeting will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23 at the Wilton Historical Society, 224 Danbury Road. Attendees may bring a brown bag lunch and the society will provide beverages and desserts.

The first book for discussion is "The Letters of Abigail Adams: The Intimate Lives and Revolutionary Ideas of Abigail Adams and Her Two Remarkable Sisters," written by Diane Jacobs and published by Random House in 2014.

The book centers on Abigail, wife of President John Adams, and her close relationship with her sisters, Mary Cranch and Elizabeth “Betsy” Shaw Peabody. Jacobs incorporates a lot of details to describe the lives of the sisters during Colonial times.

Cranch had been the de facto mayor of her village, while Peabody and her husband founded the second coeducational school ever in the United States. Abigail Adams ran her family’s farm when her husband was a member of the Continental Congress. John Adams represented the United States in Philadelphia, France and England and Abigail took care of things back home until she finally joined him in England.

“In a beautifully wrought narrative, Diane Jacobs has brought the high-spirited, hyperarticulate Smith sisters, and the early years of the American republic, to rich, luminous life … a stunning, sensitive work of history,” said Stacy Schiff, who won a Pulitzer Prize as author of  "Cleopatra."

Daniel Mark Epstein, author of "The Lincolns: Portrait of Marriage," is complimentary as well.

“Beauty, brains, and breeding—Elizabeth, Abigail, and Mary had them all,” he said. “This absorbing history shows how these close-knit and well-educated daughters of Colonial America become women of influence in the newly begotten United States. Jacobs’s feel for the period is confident; so is her appreciation of the nuances of character.”

Jacobs also wrote "Her Own Woman: The Life of Mary Wollstonecraft," along with three other books. She contributes writing to The New York Times and The Village Voice as well.

The Wilton Library will have a limited number of copies of "The Letters of Abigail Adams: The Intimate Lives and Revolutionary Ideas of Abigail Adams and Her Two Remarkable Sisters" available in the Reading Group area.

To register for Booked for Lunch, call Katherine Demo at (203) 762-7257.

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