Books About Early American Women



In advance of the April 1st release of Rescued from Ruin, my next Harlequin Historical, I wanted to share with you some of the great books I read to help me research the heroine, Cecelia Thompson. Rescued from Ruin is set in 1816 London and Cecelia is a widow from Virginia who is denied her inheritance by her stepson. She returns to England, where she was born, to try and settle her cousin and herself while trying to keep her poverty a secret. In order for me to understand what her life in America would have been like, and how American law and practice might allow her stepson to deny her an inheritance, I read the following books.
















Three of the five books deal with America's early first ladies. However, before they were first ladies, they were the wives and daughters of landowners and had to deal with the day to day running of large plantations. The Dolly Madison biography also gave me insight into how the War of 1812 impacted American women's lives. In Rescued from Ruin, part of Cecelia's decision to return to England is the hostile receptions she, as a British born woman, receives from other plantation families after the British burned Washington D.C.

What I gleamed from the first two books was that making a will was a necessity that people tended to put off until the last minute. Many times people waited too long and died intestate. Without a will, things got messy and caused no end of troubles for the heirs. In a time when it was easy for the most minor of illnesses to turn deadly, I was surprised to read about how reluctant people were to put their affairs in order. Then, like now, people didn't want to face the prospect of their mortality. Although the law was on the widow's side, the rural nature of the early American south made it difficult for heirs to make sure the law was enforced.

If you like history, I encourage you to check out any of these books. They offer fascinating looks into a period of American history that is often overlooked. While you're at it, please check out Rescued from Ruin for a chance to see how I incorporated research into the fictional narrative. Check out my other books to see how I incorporate history into those too. www.Georgie-Lee.com



15 comments:

Debi Weaver said...

These historical records look like interesting reads. I'll be sure to check them out. As I read your post, agreement prevailed on the reluctance of most in putting their affairs in order. Even today, most neglect considering where they will spend eternity and even pretend there is nothing but this life. As with wills, it's a sad phenomenon.
Enjoyed this post & will look for your book.

Shabby Chic Crochet said...

Those seem interesting books... I hope we find them in Indian market as well... I am definitely going to check them out.

Tanya said...

I will have to check them out. I am always looking for good books. Thanks for sharing on#throwbackthursdaylinkup!

kennedycreativeworks said...

Hi Georgie: I found you through the Friday Blog Hop. I too like history and film. I subscribed to your blog through Bloglovin, as I find it's easiest for me to manage my subscriptions that way: https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/4586581/georgie-lee-writing-to-the-sound-of I encourage you to check it out, if you haven't yet. Less emails more blogs subscriptions. Look forward to hearing more. Best wishes,

Savvy WorkingGal said...

All of these books look interesting. I love historical fiction.

FYI - My great-grandfather inherited our family farm here in Wisconsin when his brother died. My great-aunt had to go live with her only daughter. I always thought women couldn't inherit land back then, but I'm sure the women not being able to do the work was also a factor.

Jennifer said...

Ooo thanks for the book suggestions. I'm always on the lookout for historical books from a female perspective

Tiffiny said...

These look like books that are right up my alley!

Tanya @ Moms Small Victories said...

Thanks for sharing with #ThrowbackThursdaylinkup. I would love to read about our First Ladies.

Tina at Mommynificent.com said...

I always love reading about your process. I'm excited about this new book of yours. Thanks for sharing this with us at Booknificent Thursdays!
Tina

Jennifer Humphries said...

I love reading historical books. These look like fabulous reads. Thanks for hooking up with the TGIF hop so I could find your blog and follow. An author friend how exciting!!

Sarah Honey said...

I have to check these out! Always looking for something new to read! Thanks for stopping by and sharing on Whatever Wednesday! Hope you have a fabulous week!

Silvie Armas said...

Those are all great reads! One of my favorites is the Martha Washington one. I really enjoyed that one. Thank you linking up with us on the TGIF hop. :)

Tanya @ Moms Small Victories said...

Thanks for sharing with #smallvictoriessunday linky too. Love hearing about great books! Hope you link up to 3 posts with us again this week!

Jill R. said...

These sound like really great books Georgie!

Thank you for dropping by the Thoughtful Spot weekly blog hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods again next week!

Jamie Oliver (@va_grown) said...

I enjoyed Martha Washington, so I look forward to checking out the other two. Stopping by from the Reading List blog hop!