It was a long and snowy journey

Considering the current weather, what Facebook friends in the D.C. area are calling a “snowpocalypse,” historian Michael O’Brien’s new book seems appropriate. Mrs. Adams in Winter: A Journey in the Last Days of Napoleon tells the story of this future American First Lady’s winter journey from St. Petersburg to Paris in 1815. Library Journal gave it a starred review, describing the book as “witty, informed, sophisticated, and moving.”

LJ interviewed the author, who said he was “drawn by the literary challenge of narrating a journey and a biography simultaneously. As for my readers, if they come away with a sense of who Louisa Adams was, as well as a sense that the United States and Europe were then intermingled but diverse worlds, I would be content.” More of that interview here.

According to the publisher’s summary, Louisa Catherine Adams traveled through the snows of eastern Europe, down the Baltic coast to Prussia, across the battlefields of Germany and into Napoleonic France. “An evocative history of the experience of travel in the days of carriages and kings, Mrs. Adams in Winter offers a moving portrait of a lady, her difficult marriage, and her conflicted sense of what it meant to be a woman caught between worlds.”

A book to anticipate — Mrs. Adams in Winter is scheduled to be published in early March.