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Dolley Paperback – April 1, 1995


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Dolley + Sneaky Pie for President: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery + The Big Cat Nap: The 20th Anniversary Mrs. Murphy Mystery
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 409 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; English Language edition (April 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055356949X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553569490
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,546,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

If one can acquiesce to the rather leisurely pace of most of this fictional portrait of First Lady Dolley Madison, the payoff will be Brown's re-creation of Dolley's psychological, political and social insights into life in the nation's capital during the War of 1812. A combination of imagined first-person journal entries and third-person narrative, this work by the author of the considerably more racy Rubyfruit Jungle and Venus Envy took Brown eight years to research, though she admits she had to "read between the lines"; an extensive bibliography is included. In Brown's portrayal, Dolley comes across as independent, perceptive, smart and emotionally strong. She is also depicted as witty--"the free press works in such a way that not one of us is free from it": this from a woman about whom an eager-to-shock press spread false rumors concerning her friendships with men, particularly French political minister Louis Serurier. Those looking for romantic intrigue will not find it here, since Dolley is devoted to her husband. We do find political intrigue, however, as Madison's Republican administration meets with often nasty opposition by the New England Federalists, who do not support the war. This is a careful, endearing depiction of an admirable woman who, after her husband's death, spent much of her final 13 years tending to the restoration of Washington.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

YA?Brown's unusual technique of alternating narrated segments with Dolley Madison's fictional diary enables readers to gain insight into the woman's personality, opinions, family life, and events of her era. The exciting prologue is followed by chapters providing a historical overview of topics from domestic politics to the War of 1812. These can be tedious and difficult to understand, but the annotated list of characters helps tremendously. Occasionally the writing in the diary is unnatural?Brown is clearly providing background information rather than Dolley's feelings. However, the tension building to the British march on Washington is particularly well developed. An entertaining historical novel that combines love, suspense, and humor to reveal an oft-neglected era.?Claudia Moore, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Rita Mae Brown is the bestselling author of the Sister Jane novels-Outfoxed, Hotspur, Full Cry, The Hunt Ball, The Hounds and the Fury, The Tell-Tale Horse, and Hounded to Death-as well as the Sneaky Pie Brown mysteries and Rubyfruit Jungle, In Her Day, Six of One, and The Sand Castle, among many others. An Emmy-nominated screenwriter and a poet, Brown lives in Afton, Virginia.

Customer Reviews

Very good and very real for a fiction author.
jordyn skye
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction or is just in the mood for a good romance with political backgrounds.
Starfire
Read this book years ago and have been wanting to add it to my collection ever since.
Mary Kindig

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
Rita Mae Brown delivers again...recommended reading! Dolley has a good flavor of Madison's era. Fortunately its written as a novel and not a textbook, making it very readable and occasionally juicy. I found it to be a gentle way to get acquainted with - and interested in - early American history. Interested enough to go seek out Dolley Madison's memoirs and letters...too bad they are out of print :(
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Starfire on August 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
I've plowed through a number of heavy historical books about Dolley Madison but none of them ever gave me the sense of the real woman behind the legend until this book. Written in a personable style of Dolley writing in her journal, it is offset by third person narrative filling in the historical happenings. The book is surprisingly complete and correct in political detail. In Ms. Brown's book, Dolley is a living breathing woman who 'fusses' with sister Anna, wholeheartedly throws herself into her husband's political career, ignores her son Payne's wanton selfishness (too painful to contemplate), and deeply loves her husband James, even though she and 'the great little Madison' seemed to be polar opposites at first glance. It is their relationship that is the most interesting to me; they seemed mismatched in personality, James shy and introverted and Dolley bubbly and outgoing. James and Dolley Madison shared a love for the ages and reading about them in a novel form is a splendid read; the Madisons sound like one would imagine they would talk to one another. Maybe a few modernisms creep into their speech, but that for makes easier reading. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction or is just in the mood for a good romance with political backgrounds.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sonja on December 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of Rita Mae Brown's best works! I was amazed at the similarities of todays politics vs the third president of the United States.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a daughter of 1812 I enjoyed it and we will have a review discussion at our next chapter meeting. These accounts give so much life to our past and imaginations run wild. Mrs. Brown did Dolley proud!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Enjoyed the diary approach to telling the story. Dolley Madison tells the story and the historical aspect was very interesting.
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By LA Lady on February 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
She did a really good job of reconstructing what life back then in Washington DC could have been like. It was enjoyable to read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed the thoughts of Dolley and the many minor of more obscure players in the event before, during, and after the occupation and burning of Washington, DC. There are so may forgotten people who should not be forgotten.
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I've enjoyed Rita Mae Brown's writing, but generally found the Mrs. Murphy books to be more "fluff" than substance. "Dolly" on the other hand was well researched, and although not truly a biography as Ms. Brown had to make assumptions and guesses in many areas, it gave an interesting and complex view of politics during the War of 1812, the role of women in the early 1800's, and James Madison's term as president . Highly recommended for intelligent and thought provoking insight into a period too often overlooked and romanticized in our nation's history.
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