American Queen: The Rise and Fall of Kate Chase Sprague–Civil War “Belle of the North” and Gilded Age Woman of Scandal

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American Queen: The Rise and Fall of Kate Chase Sprague, Civil War “Belle of the North” and Gilded Age Woman of Scandal is a ripped-from-the-headlines romp through the 1800s. Author John Oller provides a fascinating look at Kate Chase Sprague, who was a society rival of Mary Lincoln’s and the daughter of a political rival of President Lincoln’s. Kate had a quick political mind during an era when women were scarcely to be heard from. While not involved in the suffragette movement, Kate was the hostess her widowed father, Salmon Chase, needed to forward the cause of abolition and his political dream of the presidency. Kate’s promising marriage ended at a time when marriages were rarely dissolved and hers was due to public scandals that altered her life forever.

This might have provided dry reading, but Oller delves into the woman, looking at contemporary accounts as well as letters that have survived. Although not all questions are answered, Oller does take time to debunk some common misconceptions of Kate while deftly explaining life of 150 years ago. American Queen is a careful and vivid biography worthy of a read.


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Author John Oller
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 416 pages
Publisher Da Capo Press
Publish Date 2014-Oct-28
ISBN 9780306822803
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue February 2015
Category History
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