20 May 2020, 5:51am

Comments Off on Kate’s 2¢: “The widow Washington: the life of Mary Washington: by Martha Saxton

Kate’s 2¢: “The widow Washington: the life of Mary Washington: by Martha Saxton

“The widow Washington: the life of Mary Washington: by Martha Saxton


Kate’s 2¢: There is a plethora of in-depth biographies of authors and reviews of their books, that state the title, author, published date, and genre; as well as,     describing what the book is about, setting, and character(s), so, Kate’s 2¢ merely shares my thoughts about what I read.  I’m just saying…


Throughout the book, Saxton spends an inordinate amount of time describing in detail  the number, sex, age, origin, and condition of slaves owned by Mary’s wealthy father, and those she inherited. I have no doubt this represents the culture of the time, yet, it seems her tone (or is it the interpretation of the reader?) is condescending, judgmental, and meant to be inflammatory to today’s citizens.

You might want to start a family tree or chart to keep all the relatives straight.

“…Mary’s status in those formative  years as a slave owner  at or before her third birthday and her daily intimacy with her independent mother contributed to her air of her command. Slave ownership became integrated early into who she was…”

When Mary married Augustine Washington, she had Anglican values and moral guidance from the several small books she had and she stressed stewardship rather than power to her children, George being the eldest child.

Unfortunately, Mary’s ‘golden years’ were severely tarnished. Her end-of-life was rife with strife, poverty, and breast cancer.


From Wikipedia:

Martha Saxton is an American professor of history and women’s and gender studies at Amherst College who has authored several prominent historical biographies.

In 2003, she wrote Being Good: Women’s Moral Values in Early America.[4] The TV film The Jayne Mansfield Story featuring Loni Anderson and Arnold Schwarzenegger was based on her book Jayne Mansfield and the American fifties.[5]

She also published findings of a classroom experiment on Wikipedia’s inclusion of women in historical articles.[6] She is a recipient of the PEN New England Award.



The widow Washington: the life of Mary Washington DB97696

Saxton, Martha. Reading time: 12 hours, 43 minutes.

Read by Laural Merlington.




U.S. History


An account of the life of Mary Ball Washington, the mother of George Washington. Discusses her family and her childhood as an orphan, her marriage and family life as an adult, her contentious relationship with son George, and her impact on the principles by which he lived. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2019.

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