Clover Adams: A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life by Natalie Dykstra

A brief encounter with a charismatic and quick silver woman who in spite of her husband’s diminutive stature was cast in his shadow. The wife of the famed historian and author Henry Adams, Marian “Clover” Hooper was not able to create a life-sized shadow of herself. In spite of Dykstra’s efforts Clover remains in the shadows. The author’s sources are thin as her subject never kept a diary and only very rarely corresponded with her husband because they were seldom apart. Clover did find her muse in photography and who knows what the future would have held for her and her craft if she hadn’t fallen into a crippling depression and tragically taken her own life at age 42. During her lifetime, she was more well known for her expertise as a Washington hostess of the nineteenth century entertaining the powerful and famous with her sparkling conversational skills given full flower at her daily open houses.

Clover is one of many women attached to powerful men who reap some benefits from the relationship but are also personally and creatively stifled by them . Dykstra leaves the reader wanting to know more, especially by viewing the photographic collection  that Clover so painstakingly created.

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