On today's show, we bring you the audio from our annual Martha Washington Lecture. This year's topic was Mary Ball Washington, George's mother, and the recent work by historians to rethink what we know about her life. Dr. Karin Wulf, executive director of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, served as our guest moderator for this event. She was joined on the virtual stage by Martha Saxon, a  2020 George Washington Book Prize Finalist for her work, The Widow Washington: The Life of Mary Washington (2019); Craig Shirley, author of Mary Ball Washington: The Untold Story of George Washington’s Mother (2019); and Charlene Boyer Lewis, author of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte: An American Aristocrat in the Early Republic (2014).

About Our Guests:

Martha Saxton is Professor of History and Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies, and Elizabeth W. Bruss Reader, Emerita at Amherst College. In addition to The Widow Washington, Saxton is the author of Being Good: Women's Moral Values in Early America (2003), among numerous other publications. 

Craig Shirley is a veteran political advisor with a long career in service to the Republican Party. He is also the author of a number of works on American history, including December 1941: 31 Days That Changed America and Saved the World (2011), and Citizen Newt: The Making of a Reagan Conservative (2017).

Charlene M. Boyer Lewis is a professor of history and the director of the American studies program at Kalamazoo College. She specializes in women's history, southern history, and American cultural and social history in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She is the author of Ladies and Gentlemen on Display: Planter Society at the Virginia Springs, 1790–1860 (2001) and is at work on a biography of Peggy Shippen Arnold. 

About Our Guest Moderator:

Karin Wulf is the director of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, which has been publishing the William and Mary Quarterly, the leading journal in early American scholarship, and books with the University of North Carolina Press, since 1943. She is also Professor of History at the College of William & Mary, and co-chair the College’s Neurodiversity Working Group. Her scholarship focuses on women, gender and family in the early modern British Atlantic.

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