Thursday, September 19, 2013

Love and Marriage

Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage is a great history of FDR and Eleanor. It reads as a biography of both of them, and it is interesting to see how they met, fell in love and worked together through personal and professional crises. Fifth generation cousins, once removed, Eleanor did not need to change her last name after marrying Franklin.

FDR and Eleanor did not have the smoothest of marriages. It started off rocky, with FDR having to wait to make the engagement public since he needed to convince his mother that Eleanor was the one. FDR, whose mother was a dominant figure in his life, was always surrounded by women who adored him. He was dependent on his mother for most of his life for money, which caused strained in law relations.  The author explores his dalliances, many to which Eleanor turned a blind eye, as FDR turned a blind eye to hers. It is interesting that two people who brought out the best in each other could not maintain fidelity. Emotional affairs ran rampant, even if physical ones did not. FDR was in great demand, and Eleanor broke new ground on what a First Lady could do. The couple were independent thinkers with their own agenda, but worked very much as a  team.

This work is well researched and contains excerpts of their personal correspondence to many relatives and companions. The couple was strong and resilient, but at times brought out the worst in each other. It was an unconventional marriage, but one could argue that if it worked for them, who are we to judge?

Please click on the title or picture above to request this title.

Review by Cara 

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