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George Washington’s Beautiful Nelly
Edited by Patricia Brady. ISBN 1-57003-631-4. The Letters of Eleanor Parke Custis Lewis to Elizabeth Bordley Gibson, 1794-1851. Expanded Edition with a New Guide to the Homes of Nelly Custis Lewis and Her Family. New Material Copyright 2006. Softcover with 287 pages including bibliography and index.
Eleanor Parke Custis Lewis was in many ways the quintessential southern lady, but as Martha Washington’s grand-daughter by her first marriage and George Washington’s adopted daughter, she was also something of an American celebrity. Her lifelong correspondence with childhood friend Elizabeth Bordley Gibson records the experiences of the first family, the social and political gossip of the new republic’s elite circle, and the difficulties of motherhood and marriage. These voluminous and unguarded letters also reveal the complex cast of family and friend associated with the Washington household, the details of plantation life, and the social limitations placed on even the most privileged eighteenth- and nineteenth- century women.