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Download Fanny and Joshua: The Enigmatic Lives of Frances Caroline Adams and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain epub

by Diane Monroe Smith

Few Civil War figures have received as much attention and achieved such lofty status in the last decade as the Maine college professor turned war hero, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. His story inspired Ken Burns to create his epic series for PBS The Civil War, and his primary role in Gettysburg, the movie adaptation of Michael Shaara's Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Killer Angels, has made him an American cult hero. Lost among the glow of his recent fame is some understanding of the relationship with his wife, the former Miss Frances Caroline Adams, known to family and friends as "Fanny." While numerous biographies of the legendary hero explain that Fanny had a profound, sometimes confounding effect on her husband, none have examined the relationship in enough depth to gain a better understanding of it, nor to learn more about Fanny the woman, not just the wife. After many years of intense research and analysis, Fanny and Joshua remedies these problems.
Download Fanny and Joshua: The Enigmatic Lives of Frances Caroline Adams and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain epub
ISBN: 157747046X
ISBN13: 978-1577470465
Category: History
Subcategory: Americas
Author: Diane Monroe Smith
Language: English
Publisher: Thomas Pubns; 1st edition (June 1, 1999)
Pages: 403 pages
ePUB size: 1424 kb
FB2 size: 1947 kb
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 771
Other Formats: mobi txt lrf azw

I had read several books about, or by, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, but had always been curious about Fanny. While I liked the book very much, there still was not a lot about Fanny, compared to Joshua Lawrence. His life seems to dominate which gives me the impression that he was a pretty self-centered person. Despite the fact that he was such a great leader who was kind and thoughtful of his troops, he didn't show that deep concern for Fanny. While reading the letters, I found myself understanding her feelings of depression because her husband seemed to always think of himself first even when she most needed him. Perhaps a second read might give a different impression. I would like to know if there are other books about, or by, Fanny.
A wonderful book that "fleshes" out the outlines of JLC and Fanny. For years, their lives were painted with a "light brushstroke" yet one felt that had to be more behind these very complex people and their relationship.
The author has painted a very complex picture of these two with all the dark and light hues of the palette. Fanny was not merely JLC's wife, or the Reverend's adopted daughter, but a much more complex individual who could be considered an early feminist.
JLC's inner feelings about service to country and greater good are reflected and help to answer that question of why a college professor in Maine would take it upon himself to defend the country he loved to the extent he did. It is easy to understand why nothing ever again measured up to his experience of leading those men at Gettysburg.
Absolutely loved it!
What appears at first to be a biography of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain mainly in terms of his relationship with his wife Frances "Fanny" Caroline Adams changes direction about halfway through, with Fanny almost falling by the wayside. Using family letters as her primary source, Diane Smith is very good at tracing the courtship and early marriage of Joshua and Fanny, but falters after the Civil War years when Chamberlain was elected governor of Maine. What might conceivably be the most interesting aspect of their relationship - Fanny's deep unhappiness with Joshua and their even contemplating divorce - is barely touched on by Smith. She quotes from a long letter Joshua wrote to his wife advising against her seeking a divorce and suggests that Chamberlain might have been an abusive husband. But what does that mean? Smith never says and seems very reluctant to wade in those waters. Apparently the couple spent a great deal of time apart, and most of this time Smith spends tracking Chamberlain's life, his political affairs in Maine, business ventures in Florida, Presidency of Bowdoin College, and Civil War reminiscences, and pays very little attention to Fanny. In the preface Smith claims that Fanny became Chamberlain's "love, helpmate, and confidante," but she doesn't illustrate much of this in the book. She also acknowledges that Fanny has been at the receiving end of much negativity in other biographies - something she implies might not be fair, but does little to dissuade her own readers from concluding as well. There is a great deal of information here on Chamberlain (though most of it is related in year-by-year list form), but if the purpose of the book was to be a dual perspective of husband and wife, Smith only met that purpose in the first half.
Many biographers of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain have treated Fanny Adams as an after-thought. Some have even treated her as a subject of disdain. Ms. Smith effectively refutes those authors, using Adam's and Chamberlain's letters to one another as her primary source materials.
What emerges is the vision of a strong, educated, ambitious, self-directed, courageous, emotionally-stable and patient woman, who endured every hardship brought to her home by her husband's long career of service to his country.
What also emerges is a more complete picture of our nation's greatest hero. The same man who quietly endured the terrors of war, who courageously accepted an horrific wound, and who was so gracious with a defeated enemy, could become quaintly insecure when dealing with the woman he loved. The stellar academic, warrior and politician was as much of a quivering paramour as any other husband in love.
For Chamberlain fans, this book offers a more human image of the titan. For everyone else, this book offers a touching tribute to the power of love.
Gold Crown
I developed an interest in Chamberlain after reading "The Killer Angels", and had been looking for a good biography of him. Last summer I visited the Chamberlain Museum in Brunswick, Me. and bought this book based on the recommendation of our tour guide. I can't begin to say how wonderful I think this book is. Smith has excellent insight into Victorian character and mores, and transmits that insight to her reader. I've always thought that JLC was about 50 years ahead of his time. After reading this book, I've come to realize that part of his forward thinking might have been a product of his relationship with his remarkable wife. Fannys self sufficient persona was NOT typical of the 19th century; through Smith, the reader comes to realize Fanny was in fact 20th century in much of her thinking. The marriage of such an independent soul with the soul of a such a fair minded, yet fierce, warrior makes for a fascinating read. I read this book into the wee hours of the morning until I finished it, in about 3 days. I never thought I'd read a history book that I just couldn't put down. I'd highly recommend it to anyone.