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Wondrous Beauty by Carol Berkin
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Wondrous Beauty

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Wondrous Beauty by Carol Berkin
Paperback $16.95
Nov 04, 2014 | ISBN 9780307476258

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  • Nov 04, 2014 | ISBN 9780307476258

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  • Feb 11, 2014 | ISBN 9780385351621

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“Assured and compelling . . . Wondrous Beauty is a fascinating and perceptive account of love and scandal.” —William Dietrich, New York Journal of Books

“An extraordinary story. . . . Berkin has researched the primary sources diligently and quotes judiciously throughout.” —Sara Wheeler, The New York Times Book Review
“With an easy, empathetic style, Berkin (Revolutionary Mothers) follows Betsy from her frivolous youth in post-colonial Baltimore through her devolution from a sparkling ingénue to a popular and witty European party guest into lonely spinsterhood, eschewing romantic love or compassion as she continued to sue her erstwhile in-laws decades after her brief marriage ended.” —Publishers Weekly
“Berkin renders a fascinating portrait of a determined woman who defied convention.” —Booklist
“Betsy Bonaparte, the beguiling belle of early Washington, disappears from most histories after she takes the fledgling capitol by storm.  Carol Berkin tells us the rest of the surprising and fascinating story of the American girl whose rejection both by her Baltimore merchant father and by the European royalty she married into caused Betsy Bonaparte to become one of the few ‘self made women’ of the 19th century.“ 
—Cokie Roberts, author of Founding Mothers and Ladies of Liberty
Carol Berkin’s Wondrous Beauty reads like a fascinating novel, with a heroine whose intriguing life and trans-Atlantic travels practically defy belief.  Betsy Bonaparte emerges as a complex, charming, and brilliant woman, courageous enough to defy her brother-in-law—the French emperor—astute enough to increase the value of her Maryland estate to more than one million dollars, and determined enough to sue the state in the Supreme Court. Berkin provides her trademark combination of meticulous research, original ideas, and elegant prose.″ —Douglas R. Egerton, author of The Wars of Reconstruction
“A meticulously researched, accessible and fascinating account of a young, headstrong but naive beauty who led an extraordinary life first as a young bride, then an abandoned wife, a mother and finally a fiercely independent, entrepreneurial nineteenth century woman. Berkin brilliantly combines storytelling and scholarship, anecdotes and insights in this vividly written biography.” —Barbara Winslow, author of Shirley Chisholm and Sylvia Pankhurst
“A wonderful story of a woman who managed to achieve independence and leave her mark on a world not quite ready for her.” —Kirkus

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