Reviews 
The Other Angel book reviews:

I love this book. It starts by describing the characters and their surroundings and it is an exciting story about the Civil War in America and her description of the area it is set in takes you there! Can't wait to get home to read some more.


By Suzanne Hall
 
Good Book. This is the 1st book I've read written by Ann Covell; she has done a great job at writing a good book; I will definitely be reading more of her books.

The story line caught my attention at the very beginning and kept me interested throughout the entire book. I loved the characters.
 
By Jeanne Richardson
Mar 29, 2019

This is a sprawling story, covering from a time before the American Civil War until after its conclusion. We start in Kentucky, learning about Rory and his desire to become a doctor. His father is greatly opposed to this and demands that his son take over the family’s hemp farm operation. Rory's world is upended when his entire family is killed in a freak accident. Other key characters come into the novel, and the stories of these four main characters interweave and coalesce. It all breaks apart again for everyone once the Civil War starts. The book is neatly divided into halves; the first half of the story takes us up to the point of the Civil War, and the second half is about the Civil War with a brief amount of information about their lives after this.

I find it interesting that an English woman has written this book. The four main characters in this book, as well as those added along the way, were fascinating to watch as they first lived their pre-war lives and then became a part of the struggle of that era. I enjoyed this view of the American Civil War written by someone who sees it as a time of historical interest, unlike American authors who tend to see it more emotionally, as the effects of the Civil War still ripple through American society today.


By Jamie BJ
Mar 24, 2019
Remembering The Ladies book reviews:
 
 
 
 
 
 
"Remembering the Ladies"  
is a choice read and solidly recommended pick. 
July 8, 2010 By Midwest Book Review 

This beautifully written book is published in easy to read text. What interested me was comparing the lives of the first ladies in bygone times and those of today.

Life was not easy for women then and the book portrays how difficult it was for most of the first ladies to reorganise their lives.

The author has brought to life the way American aristocracy lived and is so interesting for modern women to read.

 
Remembering the Ladies gives a fascinating insight into the lives of influential yet, in some cases, unheard of women of a bygone era. Ann Covell has taken the pages of history and brought them to life to give the reader a feel of how each First Lady contributed to the role as the consort of the President of the United States.

The book is well written, the context is well set and the detail draws the reader in to the point of not wanting to put the book down until completed. This is an excellent read and I cannot wait for the sequel.

A great accomplishment for the author, this is an amazing achievement for a first book. Definately worth a read.
 
 
Remembering the Ladies is an extremely exciting book that possesses the ability to capture the mind of the reader from beginning till the end. In this book Ann Covell, the author, takes us through the lives of many women who once served as, directly or in some cases indirectly, the First Ladies of the United States of America. Since the rise of media and other information resources, it has become very convenient to take a peek into the lives of celebrities or politicians beyond their professional domains. However, in earlier times when the media had only a limited role of providing little information to the public, people could never know more than what the famous people wanted to share of their lives. The First ladies of today are as popular as the President himself, or sometimes even more. People follow their daily life routines, their style statements and how they synchronize their personal lives with the hectic schedule of their husbands. 
 
Have you ever wondered if this was all the same a century back? Did the First Ladies always maintain such a public profile? Were they also as famous as their President husbands? The author has beautifully put the lives of those First Ladies who bore this title in the conservative America of the previous century. How they brought about so many meaningful and constructive changes in the society despite thriving for appreciation or public approval. This book is a tribute to all those wonderful First Ladies who actually brought a revolutionary change in the American society. The author shares many astonishing facts with the readers all throughout the book. 
 
After reading this amazing book I feel that I now possess a much clearer and better picture of the roles and responsibilities of a First Lady and her importance in the American society than I ever had. Ann Covell has done a remarkable work of writing and remembering the First ladies in a true sense. 
 
Preeti Bajra 
 
Keep an open mind on Remembering The Ladies because I can tell you that this book is 
not (and should not be) merely for politics junkie or history buff. The book is a quick, effortless read, and more important, it’s simply interesting, full of fascinating trivia about the wives of American presidents, at least through 1889. 
 
By page 4, I learned that the title of First Lady did not come into play until the late 1800s. Who knew? How about that Thomas Jefferson was a widower (OK, some people probably know that) and his daughter Patsy (who served often as First Lady) is officially listed as the First Lady for Jefferson’s presidency? 
 
Remembering The Ladies really surprised me. The research that went into this book pours onto the pages, but not in a textbook kind of way. It was a fun, breezy walk through our presidential history. The beauty of this book is that it gives you a brief glimpse of the First Ladies without coming across like a history book or overwhelming you with incessant facts. If American history or politics interest you at all, you will enjoy this book, just as I did. 
 
 
Kristin 
July 26, 2010 
 
The contributions of women aren't as celebrated, but they are still there. "Remembering the Ladies: A Century of U. S. First Ladies" looks at the first hundred years of the position of first lady, looking into the lives and contributions of the first ladies of the later eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, telling a story of America from a very different perspective, providing much insight into the role of woman in early America. "Remembering the Ladies" is a choice read and solidly recommended pick. 
 
 
5 out of 5  
A choice read and solidly recommended pick,  
July 8, 2010 By Midwest Book Review  
(Oregon, WI USA)  
Am giving this book 4 stars simply because its a good book with some interesting past of a select group of First Ladies from decades past. None of the First Ladies, aside from brief comments at the beginning of the book and end of the book, about Michelle Obama,Nancy Reagan etc are from post WW2 years. Would be interesting to have if you love history or are homeschooling. 
4 out of 5  
Interesting, fun book, May 4, 2010 
By MotherLodeBeth "MotherLodeBeth"  
(Sierras of California) 
 
"Remembering the Ladies: A Century of U.S. First Ladies, 1789-1889" by Ann Covell is surprisingly good. One would not think that a biographical book about American First Ladies from a British writer would be incessantly boring. However, Covell has such a commanding voice in her writing that readers feel compelled to keep turning the pages. The book is divided into three parts, essentially which are time periods. Each has a handful of First Ladies. In this fashion, no one story about the women is ever too long. Childhood histories, eclectic anecdotes, and facetious circumstances are brought into light in this book. Covell takes seemingly "behind-the-scenes" women of American history and brings them into the spotlight that only a skilled writer can accomplish. 
 
 
Teresa Konopka 
Tuesday May 4 2010 
Ann McGeehan, former president of the America Club of Marbella, introduced Ann Covell and her book at the launch in Marbella, Spain in May 2010. In her opening speech, Ann McGeehan said: 
 
"Remembering The Ladies" is a collection of intriguing stories involving presidential families in the period 1789-1889. Information like this,in such a readable document, is long overdue and that is why it may well be that we are witnessing the birth of a classic in women's studies." 
When she was First Lady, Hillary Clinton was pilloried and ridiculed by politicians and certain segments of the news media. Although her entry into the political arena did make her political fair game, a great deal of the criticism was personal, very mean and as is demonstrated in this book not without precedent. 
In the early years of the republic, the role of the President's spouse was uncertain. In the first case, the general idea of a republic was new, so there was no tradition to rely on. To that point, the wife of a male leader was the Queen and the people of the United States had no desire for royalty, either in position or in manner. In the second case, women had no rights and they were expected to have children and defer to their husbands on everything. Women were almost totally uneducated and could not personally own or control their own property. Yet, the American people did have high expectations of the wife of the President, she was expected to be the charming and efficient hostess for all White House functions, both personal and governmental. That was a difficult task and in several cases it proved to be beyond the capability of the spouse of the President. Washington society was very snobbish and demanding, a perceived slight, no matter how minor, could be socially devastating. 
 
This book chronicles the lives of the primary women of the White House from George Washington through Grover Cleveland. In several cases, the President had no spouse during his tenure in the White House; so another woman was pressed into service as the official hostess. Each woman that occupied the position brought a different style, some were completely unsuited, both intellectually and temperamentally, yet others were dazzling in the role. 
 
As time moved on, so did the role of women in society, and associated with that, the role of the First Lady changed. In the nineteenth century, it became proper for the First Lady to champion causes, as long as they were in the area of charity and non-political. The most fascinating point of the book is how brutal the treatment of First Ladies has been over time. While some were treated well, the political opponents of their husbands heavily criticized many First Ladies. Many of the women would have preferred to be somewhere other than the White House, yet had very little choice in the matter. 
This book covers a neglected aspect of American history, the role and treatment of the spouse of the President. As you can see from this book, heavy and often unjustified criticism of the First Lady in an old political game, it began with the founding of the republic and continues to this day. 
 
5 out of 5 
Covers a neglected area of American history, the coverage of the First Ladies, May 6, 2010 
By Charles Ashbacher (Marion, Iowa United States 
 
In this 21st century, America's First Lady is as well known as her husband due to world-wide modern technology. In the 19th century, however, it was difficult for the public to even know who the president's wife was. Even today it is not easy to call to mind those pioneering First Ladies, many of whom were burdened with more than their fair share of misfortune and some almost forgotten 
 
This book provides an insight into the lives of the 19th century First Ladies, in an undemanding, easy-to-read style, and aims to raise awareness of the historical significance of these women. Their abridged stories, sometimes joyful, sometimes sad, range from slavery, bigamy, duels, royal snubs, European conflicts, American wars, assassinations and suffrage, and demonstrate how the Ladies might be seen as victims of history. The text includes a basic review of the restricted evolution of the First Lady role during the first hundred years. The aim is that the book will encourage foundational study in colleges and schools, and inspire anyone who is interested in presidential history to deeper levels of publications and study. 
 
 
Beth's Book Review Blog 
Thursday 12th August 2010 
 
Remembering the Ladies is subtitled A Century of U.S. First Ladies 1789-1889; Ann Covell provides short biographies of the White House hostesses (read further to see why I don't say wives) from Martha Washington to Frances Cleveland. The sketches are not limited to the First Ladies' time in the White House but also their early and later lives. Watching this video will give readers an idea of the stories they will encounter in reading Remembering the Ladies. 
 
Despite common knowledge that a U.S. First Lady is the wife of the President; the author chooses to include other women that served as hostess to the White House including daughters, daughters-in-law, nieces, sisters, and even an aunt. When I checked dictionaries I got conflicting info about the definition of First Lady. Dictonary.com defined First Lady as "the wife of the president of the U.S...." while Merriam-Webster said "the wife or hostess of the chief executive of a country or jurisdiction." I decided to settle the score by checking the White House website and although not directly defined, only wives of Presidents are listed as First Ladies. 
Despite Remembering the Ladies not being what I expected I did enjoy taking a quick trip through 100 years of history through the eyes of the women of the White House. 
 
 
S.A.G.A 
Sunday June 6th 2010 
 
Jackie Kennedy changed how our nation views First Ladies. Her natural elegance and poise created an almost magical charm that made each person believe in the government doing the right thing for every person. The sequential First Ladies have taken her example and changed it to meet the needs of the times while constantly balancing the needs of their family, their husband, the press, and their country. 
 
This was not so though for Martha Washington through Francis Cleveland. Their situations were much different with developing the country and customs. Without the luxury of modern appliances, many of the wives were caring for a large family, their own land, and now the added responsibility of being the hostess for a new country. 
 
In REMEMBERING THE LADIES, each chapter focuses on the positive attributes as well as the challenges. Also important, were the ladies who greatly took time from their families to meet the needs for our country and the President. Why were some successful and others were barely surviving in the Washington limelight? From numerous slavery issues, to bigamy, assassinations, snubs, suffrage, and seating charts, each left their mark on the country is even some small way. 
 
REMEMBERING THE LADIES read as fiction even though it is obviously factual and well-researched. Each vignette tells of the background, how they met their spouse, rumors, challenges, and a general overview about each person. With twenty-two subjects, the pictures help tremendously in relating to each. Also, there is much history into each presidency from the woman’s point-of-view, especially during a war or an economic struggle.. 
 
Ann Covell lives in both the UK and Spain. She spends time writing for regional magazines and newspaper in both countries. This is her first book. 
 
Personally, I look forward to the next book in this series. 
 
 
Teri Davis 
Bestsellersworld.com 
 
Remembering the Ladies by Ann Covell is an intimate look into the lives of the First Ladies in our countries first century. The tales are poignant and Covell has done a wonderful job finding interesting tidbits of information about each of the ladies she portrays. 
 
The primary function of the book is the attempt to chronicle the development of the role we now title "First Lady". At first no one even expected to give the President's wife a second glance let alone have a list of duties to perform. Very quickly it was determined that the role of house maker would not be simple and the concept of an official Hostess began to develop. 
 
If you are looking for a historical guide with clear references and factual information this would not be the book for research. While she offers many dates and places she does not cite specific sources, allowing the reader a small resources page in the back of the book. 
 
What you do get from this book is a graceful story following the often forgotten history of these ordinary women thrown into an extraordinary role. Even on the least favorable of the women she puts a beautiful light highlighting their strengths and accomplishments and for the most part excusing any less desirable traits. It is not necessarily how history has remembered them, but she follows the idea of remembering the good and allowing the negative to be lost to time. 
 
 
The Book Chubi 
3rd July 2010 
Ann Covell’s work fills a need to stir interest for these ladies who quietly marched into history for the most part and were quickly forgotten other than by a genealogist here and there. 
Ann Covell’s Remembering the Ladies: a Century of U.S. First Ladies 1789 – 1889 is an enjoyable work chronicling the lives of what may be to many, complete unknowns. 
 
Every child student in the US has heard the names of many of our presidents, on the other hand, few if any have even heard, much less know something of the President’s wives or families. 
 
Ann Covell’s work fills a need to stir interest for these ladies who quietly marched into history for the most part and were quickly forgotten other than by a genealogist here and there. 
 
I personally have a life long love of history, like people and have long wanted to know more about both. I found Ann Covell’s Remembering the Ladies to be very appealing as we learn a snippet or two regarding these quiet women who, time and place dictated, were to remain in the shadow of their husbands. 
 
One interesting aspect I found on the pages of Remembering the Ladies is the fact that ugly, at times really untrue, mean spirited and frequently baseless disapproval of the President’s wife is a very old political fixture; it began with the founding of the republic and continues to this day. Washington’s gentle, unassuming wife was well received, not all wives were as evidenced by the criticism of Elizabeth Monroe following the election of her husband. Knowing nothing of her; popular opinion was that Mrs Monroe was guilty of snobbish social indifference rather than illness, timidity or perhaps other reasons. Few were aware that during the days of the French revolution it was Mrs Monroe who achieved the release of Madame Lafayette from the gaol in which the lady was imprisoned. 
 
Because it was a social faux pas to discuss child bearing other than in the confines of the home few realized Louisa Adams may have been facing total ill health and deep seated depression; she experienced eleven pregnancies during 21 years of marriage, during which the first seven pregnancies were miscarried. 
 
Many of the President’s Wives, openly expressed little desire to be the wife of the President, but once he was elected set about to fulfill the role which had not been clearly defined other than the spouse was to be the official hostess for the President. In the case of the widowed Jefferson and others daughters, daughters-in-law, and other relatives were called upon to fill the role. 
 
Even what to call the spouse of the President Queen of the White House, Lady, Mrs President, and for Julia Tyler Mrs Presidentress, were used prior to President Taylor’s noting Dolley Madison as The First Lady during her state funeral. That was the appellation that finally stuck. 
 
I enjoyed reading Ann Covell’s Remembering the Ladies: a Century of U.S. First Ladies 1789 – 1889 and learning something of these women who during the early days of our country quietly took their place beside husbands; often without really realizing what turn their life was to take. 
 
The diversity of these women, well educated to just barely lettered, product of a multiplicity of backgrounds from abject poverty to a childhood as the beloved pet in a wealthy home filled with opulence, some fluent in several languages, and varied background from Dutch, Russian, English, German and other, having parents who were honest, unremembered today to those whose parents and grandparents are among the founders of the nation is a fascinating read. 
 
During those early years of our country general education was not universal, despite that many of spouses were well educated, but expected to voice no opinion of their own. 
 
Women in those days were expected to bear children without complaint, but to have no control in the rearing of the children, or ownership of their own inherited property. Women were to quietly defer to husbands in all things. 
 
While a political figure might welcome the approval of his spouse, her disapproval was her problem, and he ran for office whether the white house was in his wife’s hopes or not. Willing or not, healthy or not, she was expected to be the always pleasant and proficient hostess for all White House functions, whether private or governmental. 
 
Washington society was, may well still be, incredibly arrogant and challenging, a supposed misstep, no matter how inconsequential, could, and still may be socially destructive leading to public ridicule and pillorying. Margaret Mackall Smith Taylor, a sophisticated Marylander born into a politically powerful family, whose wealthy tobacco famer, father served the nation well during Revolution and was herself well educated for the time was portrayed during the election campaign as coming from a poverty stricken family, uneducated, and vulgar and was cartooned as a hill woman smoking a pipe. 
 
Each woman, spouse, daughter or other relative who came to occupy the White House alongside husband, father, in law, or other relative brought her own style, signature and ability. Many of the wives were already deceased from child bearing, others were worn out and in health due to the near constant child bearing experienced by women in those early days. 
 
Many, well suited both in temperament and intellect, embraced the role with vigor, style and grace, others held back allowing daughters, in laws and other relatives to take on the role, while there were those who were not at suited for the role into which they were thrust. 
 
Beginning during the 1800s it became the norm for the Present’s spouse to take on a socially important or charitable cause, not a political one, and that carries over into today. 
 
One interesting point Ann Covell’s Remembering the Ladies: a Century of U.S. First Ladies 1789 – 1889 clearly defines is the absolute brutal and ugly behavior of many in politics, society as a whole, and Washington DC social scene members toward the spouse of a President or presidential candidate. Education, upbringing, number of children, lack thereof, even hair style all are grist for the mongering. 
 
I find Ann Covell’s Remembering the Ladies: a Century of U.S. First Ladies 1789 – 1889 to be a well researched, highly readable work which fills in many gaps. While I personally have long read history, I found many anecdotes in this work that are new to me. I like expanding my knowledge. 
 
I can see a real place for Remembering the Ladies in the High School library, for Home Schoolers, for history buffs and those who enjoy a well written work depicting some of the history of our country. 
 
Happy to recommend, Ann Covell’s Remembering the Ladies: a Century of U.S. First Ladies 1789 – 1889. 
M.J. hollingshead 
Thursday, July 01, 2010 
Ann Covell’s Remembering the Ladies: a Century of U.S. First Ladies 1789 – 1889 is an enjoyable work chronicling the lives of what may be to many, complete unknowns. 
 
Every child student in the US has heard the names of many of our presidents, on the other hand, few if any have even heard, much less know something of the President’s wives or families. Ann Covell’s work fills a need to stir interest for these ladies who quietly marched into history for the most part and were quickly forgotten other than by a genealogist here and there. 
 
I personally have a life long love of history, like people and have long wanted to know more about both. I Ann Covell’s Remembering the Ladies to be very appealing as we learn a snippet or two regarding these quiet women who, time and place dictated, were to remain in the shadow of their husbands. 
 
Many of the President’s Wives, openly expressed little desire to be the wife of the President, but once he was elected set about to fulfill the role which had not been clearly defined other than the spouse was to be the official hostess for the President. In the case of the widowed Jefferson and others daughters, daughters-in-law, and other relatives were called upon to fill the role. 
 
I enjoyed reading Ann Covell’s Remembering the Ladies: a Century of U.S. First Ladies 1789 – 1889 and learning something of these women who during the early days of our country quietly took their place beside husbands; often without really realizing what turn their life was to take. 
 
Each woman, spouse, daughter or other relative who came to occupy the White House alongside husband, father, in law, or other relative brought her own style, signature and ability. Many of the wives were already deceased from child bearing, others were worn out and in health due to the near constant child bearing experienced by women in those early days. 
 
Many, well suited both in temperament and intellect, embraced the role with vigor, style and grace, others held back allowing daughters, in laws and other relatives to take on the role, while there were those who were not at suited for the role into which they were thrust. Beginning during the 1800s it became the norm for the Present’s spouse to take on a socially important or charitable cause, not a political one, and that carries over into today. 
 
One interesting point Ann Covell’s Remembering the Ladies: a Century of U.S. First Ladies 1789 – 1889 clearly defines is the absolute brutal and ugly behavior of many in politics, society as a whole, and Washington DC social scene members toward the spouse of a President or presidential candidate. Education, upbringing, number of children, lack thereof, even hair style all are grist for the mongering. 
 
Molly 
Jandy's Reading Room 
07/02/2010 
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