Miss the event at Politics & Prose? Not to fear!
In conversation with WAUM’s Tayla Burney. (She is a fantastic interviewer.)
Interviews, and Q&As
A few of my favorites:
(I want “First Lady of Revision” on my tombstone, please.)
BookTV: Louisa and Louisa on Louisa
In conversation with the novelist Louisa Hall about Louisa at BookCourt in Brooklyn, New York. In which I use my hands.
So Palpable a Stain: The Adamses and Slavery in Washington, D.C.
Louisa Catherine Adams, John Quincy Adams’s wife, had gimlet eyes, a satirist’s wit, and a sharp pencil. To read her letters and diaries is to see the early Republic in vivid color. There is Aaron Burr, who would startle the noisy Senate into silence with “the little hammer in his graceful little hand.” There is John Randolph, of Roanoke, who “was to Congress what Shakespeare’s Fools were to a Court.” There is the wife of the Secretary of War, who clucks about her chickens back in Maine. Martin Van Buren is thinly disguised as “Lord Vandyke Maneuvre.” There are the Southern members of Congress, raging against her husband’s efforts as a representative to present petitions for the restriction of slavery in the eighteen-thirties and forties. “If you have ever seen a puppy in fits,” she wrote to her son, “it will give you some idea of the foaming violence of the Scene.”… Read more
The Case of the Illicit Rouge
On Louisa Catherine Adams’s blush, in New York Magazine’s The Cut.
At the very end of a leather-bound composition book — after the journal she kept from 1819 until early 1824; after the memoir sketch, “Record of a Life,” which she wrote in the White House; after the anguished lament she wrote about the death of her son — Louisa Catherine Adams scrawled a few recipes for “cosmeticks.” The process of making face powder required a pound of rice, fresh spring water, and a thin sheet of lead; it took more than a month. Lipstick was easier: “a little Brazil wood and white vinegar boiled a minute or two.” For rouge, “cambric muslin dipped in pokeberry juice and dried is a harmless preparation.”… Read more