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The Pursuit of History

"Defiant Brides: The Untold Story of Two Revolutionary-Era Women and the Radical Men They Married" - Signed by the author, Nancy Rubin Stuart

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Defiant Brides: The Untold Story of Two Revolutionary-Era Women and the Radical Men They Married, signed by the author


Hardcover (264 pages), brand new and signed by the author, Nancy Rubin Stuart.

All proceeds go to The Pursuit of History, a non-profit organization

Short Description

The fascinating true story of two Revolutionary-era teenagers who defy their Loyalist families to marry radical patriots, Henry Knox and Benedict Arnold—and are forever changed

When Peggy Shippen, the celebrated blonde belle of Philadelphia, married American military hero Benedict Arnold in 1779, she anticipated life of fame and fortune, but financial debts and political intrigues prompted her to conspire with her treasonous husband against George Washington and the American Revolution. In spite of her commendable efforts to rehabilitate her husband’s name, Peggy Shippen continues to be remembered as a traitor bride.

Peggy’s patriotic counterpart was Lucy Flucker, the spirited and voluptuous brunette, who in 1774 defied her wealthy Tory parents by marrying a poor Boston bookbinder simply for love. When her husband, Henry Knox, later became a famous general in the American Revolutionary War, Lucy faithfully followed him through Washington’s army camps where she birthed and lost babies, befriended Martha Washington, was praised for her social skills, and secured her legacy as an admired patriot wife.

And yet, as esteemed biographer Nancy Rubin Stuart reveals, a closer look at the lives of both spirited women reveals that neither was simply a “traitor” or “patriot.” In Defiant Brides, the first dual biography of both Peggy Shippen Arnold and Lucy Flucker Knox, Stuart has crafted a rich portrait of two rebellious women who defied expectations and struggled—publicly and privately—in a volatile political moment in early America.

Drawing from never-before-published correspondence, Stuart traces the evolution of these women from passionate teenage brides to mature matrons, bringing both women from the sidelines of history to its vital center. Readers will be enthralled by Stuart’s dramatic account of the epic lives of these defiant brides, which begin with romance, are complicated by politics, and involve spies, disappointments, heroic deeds, tragedies, and personal triumphs.

You may also check out the recorded session of Nancy Rubin Stuart's History Camp Discussion "Defiant Brides: The Untold Story of Two Revolutionary-Era Women and the Radical Men They Married" from History Camp.

Reviews

“An ingenious means of bringing new life to the oldest story in our nation’s past: the American Revolution from the perspective of the young and clear-sighted wives of generals Benedict Arnold and Henry Knox. Tracing the parallel lives of two couples with conflicting loyalties, Nancy Rubin Stuart achieves a you-are-there verisimilitude in Defiant Brides that is rare and not to be missed.” —Megan Marshall, author of The Peabody Sisters and Margaret Fuller

“Written with verve and compassion, Nancy Rubin Stuart’s portrait of two extraordinary marriages of the American Revolution offers a valuable and moving reminder that even in the most dramatic of public events, private passions prevailed and participants remained, first and foremost, husbands and wives.” 
—Marla R. Miller, author of Betsy Ross and the Making of America

About the Author

Nancy Rubin Stuart is an award-winning author and journalist who specializes in women, biography, and social history. 

Born in Boston, Nancy graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in English and an M.A.T. from Brown University. In 1995, Mount Vernon College, now part of Georgetown University, awarded her an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters. 

While raising children, Nancy wrote for the New York Times under the byline Nancy Rubin. That work and her experiences as a suburban wife and mother prompted her first book, The New Suburban Woman: Beyond Myth and Motherhood.

As a journalist, she has written for many publications including The New York Times, American History Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, The New England Quarterly, The Huffington Post, The Stamford Advocate, Greenwich Time, The Barnstable Patriot, The Cape Cod Times, Business Week’s Careers, Family Circle, Parents, and others listed on the Bookshelf page.

Today Nancy also serves as Executive Director of the Cape Cod Writers Center.

All proceeds go to The Pursuit of History, a non-profit organization

The Pursuit of History is the non-profit organization that engages adults in conversation about history and connects them with historic sites in their communities and across the country through unique annual events, including History Camp, and through video and other online content.

The History List is a sponsor of The Pursuit of History, and all proceeds from the sale of this book will go to The Pursuit of History to support their in-person and online events.

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