Something to read on a later date…

Yesterday I attended a work-related conference over at Wayne State University. The morning session was abundantly dry and since we had to wait quite awhile for Vice-President Al Gore to take the stage, my colleague and I took a stroll around the campus (a very nice campus with beautiful Fall foilage right now).

We found ourselves across the street from the Detroit Public Library (main branch). I wished at the time I had taken a picture of the front of the building because it was impressive. However, I must have taken 20 pictures of Al Gore, and not one appeared on the camera this morning? Talk about ridiculous user error! (I’m saying user error and not stupidity okay? It’s the first time I used it!) Detroit has some impressive architecture it can boast about, but that should be saved for an entirely different post altogether…

While I was browsing what was on display in this section of the library, which was very, very quiet by the way. Plenty of people in the library yesterday, but they were quite silent:

I came across this book, which really piqued my interest and I definitely want to read it in the (near) future.

The description on the inside jacket describes a story of a woman that definitely blazed trails in her day! Abigail is the wife of the 2nd United States president, John Adams and demanded that her husband’s cronies “Remember the Ladies”. It looks like an interesting tale about the Founding Mothers of the United States.

 The part of the description inside that definitely caught my attention and reminded me so very much of the plight of Mrs. Crawley, in Downton Abbey and really of women in that era, was this crazy law where women were unable to own property or maintain money in their own name, but rather had to rest with their husband, or a male heir. Abigail Adams said pish posh to that nonsense and apparently amassed quite a fortune of her own and maintained the family’s finances.

You go girl!

Apparently John Adams was frequently away and Abigail ultimately made all the household decisions. On another note, they kept their marriage and love for one another strong through considerable correspondence. (Another interesting read? Are those published?)

Reviews of Holton’s “Abigail Adams” use descriptives like, “smart and saucy” and a determined advocate for better opportunities for women. As I’m only on the second episode of the first season in Downton Abbey, and besides being completely and totally hooked, it does start out with the story surrounding this unfortunate law where Mrs. Crawley’s fortune cannot go to herself, or her daughters, but must rest with the next male heir on her husband’s side of the family. How crazy and convaluted is that? Anyway, I’m looking forward to picking up this book and of course to continuing my love affair with Downton Abbey!

P.S. Al Gore gives a great talk, full of humour and plenty of southern drawl. References to Minnie Pearl were abundant, but overall, his message was clear: listen to what the scientists are telling us, most notably for this talk, about the environment and climate change as they do know what they are talking and warning us about! We have a moral obligation to clean up the environment and stem the effects of climate warming.

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