Something to Think About

5 Jun

Right now I’m reading a biography called ‘Clover Adams: A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life’. Clover was a photographer though she was probably most notably the wife of Henry Adams, the great-grandson of John Adams and the grandson of John Quincy Adams. Henry was also a Pulitzer prize winning novelist.

Clover and Henry were seen as a well matched couple, intellectually speaking and in similar social standing. They were well-traveled, they had money. From the outside Clover was happy. She committed suicide when she was 42. The author paints a (almost exhaustively) detailed portrait of  Clover and her growing unrest with her life. She was just starting to express herself as a photographer when she killed herself. She did not have many close friends, she traveled in Washington social circles that were largely unsatisfying to her.

Whenever I read a book about a time period other than the present I always wonder what kind of person I would have been at that time and in this case, what kind of person Clover would be if she was growing up now. Was her sense of hopelessness because she was born at a time that limited women or was it internal? No way to know of course. It’s just something I ponder.

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