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The Secrets of Mary Bowser af Lois Leveen
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The Secrets of Mary Bowser (udgave 2012)

af Lois Leveen (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
4524656,189 (4.05)15
"Based on the true story of Mary Bowser, a freed slave who returns to Virginia to spy on the Confederates, The secrets of Mary Bowser is the powerful story of a woman who must sacrifice her freedom to truly achieve it"--Provided by publisher.
Medlem:LoriWise
Titel:The Secrets of Mary Bowser
Forfattere:Lois Leveen (Forfatter)
Info:HarperCollins (2012)
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek, Læser for øjeblikket
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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The Secrets of Mary Bowser af Lois Leveen

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was very impressed with how deftly Leveen told the story of Mary Bowser and Bet Van Lew, given just how little is known about them, particularly Mary. I love history, and I especially love the history of people, things, and events that tend to be marginalized in traditional school classrooms. I had never knew of either of these two women's existence, and I wish they were at least mentioned in my school textbooks because they are amazing.

Leveen focuses on Mary Bowser, who was born a slave to the Van Lew family in Richmond, and is freed by Bet Van Lew following Bet's father's death. Bet sends Mary to be educated in Philadelphia. On the advent of the Civil War, Mary returns to Richmond and takes up spying for the Union, and even secures a position as a house slave in the home of Jefferson Davis.

Leveen does take some artistic license with history, giving Mary a much larger role in the plotting and planning than most historians are wont to do. I found the entire book fascinating, and loved Mary's slow initiation into the abolitionist world, starting at sewing circles to eventually something more dangerous and drastic.

Hopefully this book will inspire more people to learn about the incredible role Mary and Bet played in the Civil War. ( )
  wisemetis | Aug 1, 2022 |
This was a well-written book about a historical figure who spied for the North during the Civil War in the USA. Mary Bowser was born a black slave in Richmond, Virginia who was freed by her owner and moved north to get an education. When the War broke out, she returned home and became a spy in Jefferson Davis' home, passing information on to Lincoln's people.

* I received this book for free from Goodreads First Reads. ( )
  carliwi | Sep 23, 2019 |
I was supposed to read this for a book club several years back. I'm sorry I didn't read it then because it turned out to be better then I had expected. It ties in with another book I read where Elizabeth Van Lew was the main character. These type of books are based on real events from the past but you have to take what was written with a grain of salt. One book says Mary was the main spy another said Elizabeth was. Who knows for sure but either way these ladies risked their lives because they believed slavery to be wrong. They worked together for a common goal and accomplished great things! ( )
  Wapil | Mar 23, 2019 |
I was supposed to read this for a book club several years back. I'm sorry I didn't read it then because it turned out to be better then I had expected. It ties in with another book I read where Elizabeth Van Lew was the main character. These type of books are based on real events from the past but you have to take what was written with a grain of salt. One book says Mary was the main spy another said Elizabeth was. Who knows for sure but either way these ladies risked their lives because they believed slavery to be wrong. They worked together for a common goal and accomplished great things! ( )
  Wapil | Mar 23, 2019 |
This book left me wanted to know so much more about this fascinating woman much of whose life was unfortunately undocumented. In this novelization of her life, Mary starts life as a slave to the wealthy Van Lew family in Richmond, Virginia. After being emancipated by the Van Lew's outspoken daughter Bet, Mary is sent to Philadelphia to receive an education few black women would had in the 19th century. At the start of the Civil War, however, Mary journeyed back to Richmond and quickly became involved in a spy network dedicated to carrying information back to the Union army. Mary pretends to be a slave and becomes a part of the household of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, giving her plenty of opportunities to obtain sensitive information. This was a great read and it left me wanting so much more about Mary and her life! ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | May 18, 2018 |
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If the whole of history is in one man, it is all to be explained from individual experience.... Each new fact in his private experience flashes a light on what great bodies of men have done, and the crises of his life refer to national crises. --Ralph Waldo Emerson, "History," 1841
Who shall go forward, and take off the reproach that is cast upon the people of color? Shall it be a woman? --Maria Stewart, "Lecture Delivered At The Franklin Hall, Boston," 1832
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"Based on the true story of Mary Bowser, a freed slave who returns to Virginia to spy on the Confederates, The secrets of Mary Bowser is the powerful story of a woman who must sacrifice her freedom to truly achieve it"--Provided by publisher.

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