June 10, 2023

Read THE WIDOW WASHINGTON with our Book Club

Mary Washington's Mother of All Book ClubsLooking for a way to stay connected to other alumni? We are beginning the next round of reading in our online literary group–the Mother of All Book Clubs!

Alumni read and discuss via a private Facebook group, so only approved members can see posts or participate in the discussion. This is informal and low-pressure–read along with us and chime in on the discussion as much or as little as you like.

Our next selection is The Widow Washington, by Martha Saxton. Saxton attempts to explore and correct what is known about Mary Ball Washington, George Washington’s mother.

Adapted from Amazon: George’s biographers have, for the most part, painted Mary as self-centered and crude, a trial and an obstacle to her oldest child. But the records tell a very different story. Mary Ball was orphaned young and grew up working hard, practicing frugality and piety. Later, as a widow deprived of most of her late husband’s properties, Mary struggled to raise her five children, but managed to secure them places among Virginia’s elite.

In her later years, she and George had a contentious relationship. Yet Mary had a greater impact on George than mothers of that time usually had on their sons. The Widow Washington is a necessary and deeply insightful corrective, telling the story of Mary’s long, arduous life on its own terms, and not treating her as her son’s satellite.

Pick up a copy of the book and start reading–we will begin posting discussion questions on Monday, November 30–which just happens to be Mary Washington’s 308th birthday. You might have a small-business bookseller you like to support, or you might want to try your local library system, some of which even offer ebooks. But if you need the book shipped, below are some links to larger online providers.


We look forward to reading with you!
All the best,
The Alumni Relations Team


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