American Queen

American Queen

The Rise and Fall of Kate Chase Sprague, Civil War "Belle of the North" and Gilded Age Woman of Scandal

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
Rate this:
1
Had People magazine been around during the Civil War and after, Kate Chase would have made its "Most Beautiful" and "Most Intriguing" lists every year. The charismatic daughter of Salmon P. Chase, Lincoln's treasury secretary, Kate Chase enjoyed unprecedented political power for a woman. As her widowed father's hostess, she set up a rival "court" against Mary Lincoln in hopes of making her father president and herself his First Lady. To facilitate that goal, she married one of the richest men in the country, the handsome "boy governor" of Rhode Island, in the social event of the Civil War. She moved easily between the worlds of high fashion, adorning herself in the most regal Parisian gowns, and politics, managing her father's presidential campaigns. "No Queen has ever reigned under the Stars and Stripes," one newspaper would write, "but this remarkable woman came closer to being a Queen than any American woman has."

But when William Sprague turned out to be less of a prince as a husband, Kate found comfort in the arms of a powerful married senator. The ensuing sex scandal ended her virtual royalty; after the marriage crumbled and the money disappeared, she was left only with her children and her ever-proud bearing. She became a social outcast and died in poverty, yet in her final years she would find both greater authenticity and the inner peace that had always eluded her.

Kate Chase's dramatic story is one of ambition and tragedy, set against the seductive allure of the Civil War and Gilded Age, involving some of the most famous personalities in American history. In this beautifully written and meticulously researched biography, drawing on much unpublished material, John Oller captures the extraordinary life of a woman who was a century ahead of her time.
Publisher: Boston :, Da Capo Press, A Member of the Perseus Books Group,, [2014]
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780306822803
Branch Call Number: ANF 973.5092 OLL
Characteristics: xxiii, 376 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment
l
Logovore
May 19, 2015

The old-fashioned saying is "that behind every great man is a great woman". Chase's tragedy is two-fold in that she put her considerable energy, intelligence, political savy and talents in the service of men who were not and probably could never be 'great' and that she lived in a time when it wasn't societally acceptable for her to put them to her own service. One gets the sense that if she had been able to run (or vote, for that matter!), the Americans would have had a woman as president at the beginning of the last century.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at VIRL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top