Unwise passions : a true story of a remarkable woman-- and the last great scandal of eighteenth-century America /
Alan Pell Crawford.
New York : Simon & Schuster, c2000.
329 p. : map, ports., geneal. table ; 25 cm.
More Details
New York : Simon & Schuster, c2000.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2000-11-06:
In 1792, 18-year-old Nancy Randolph of Virginia, a supremely eligible and sought-after beauty, gave birth to a baby rumored to have been fathered and subsequently killed by her sister Judith's husband, Richard Randolph. Although no body was found (supposedly, slaves had seen a dead white baby lying atop a trash heap) and Richard was acquitted, Judith and her husband's brother Jack never forgave Nancy. Indeed, they went out of their way to make her life miserable, aided by the fact that no southern gentleman would now have her. Nevertheless, like a true-life Scarlett O'Hara, Nancy willfully declared, "I shall rally again," and she did. While her vengeful relatives fell into ruin (the heady days of the southern tobacco-dominated economy and the lavish lifestyle of the plantation owners were dwindling decidedly and irreversibly), she headed north, married the wealthy Gouoverneur Morris, who had hired her to run his household, and lived happily ever after. Crawford's (Thunder on the Right) account has the makings of a great story of intrigue, passion, greed, honor and lust set in the South, replete with an extraordinary supporting cast that includes Thomas Jefferson, a long-time family friend and relative; Francis Scott Key and Patrick Henry, who served as Richard's legal defense. But despite extensive research, Crawford, a former U.S. Senate speechwriter, fails to bring Nancy's character to full life and never seems to dish up the meat of his story, leaving it merely an interesting tale for those who like their history light and with a whiff of scandal. Maps and illus. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews, October 2000
Booklist, November 2000
Publishers Weekly, November 2000
Washington Post, November 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem