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The Winthrop Woman [Large Print] [Hardcover]

Anya Seton
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 1976
First published in 1958 and set in the early 17th century, this bestselling novel - and follow-up to Katherine - follows Elizabeth Winthrop, a courageous Puritan woman who finds herself at odds with her heritage and surroundings. Elizabeth married into the family of Governor John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In those times of hardship, famine, and Indian attacks, many believed that the only way to prosper was through the strong, bigoted, and theocratic government that John Winthrop favored. Defying the government and her family, Elizabeth befriends famous heretic Anne Hutchinson, challenges an army captain, and dares to love as her heart commanded. Through Elizabeth's three marriages, struggles with her passionate beliefs, and countless rebellions, a powerful tale of fortitude, humiliation, and ultimate triumph shines through
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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"Abundant and juicy entertainment."  —The New York Times

"Really good fictionalized history [like this] often gives closer reality to a period than do factual records."  —Chicago Tribune

"[Seton] animates her characters with imaginitive warmth and has written with knowledge and understanding about a difficult period."  —San Francisco Chronicle

"A true page-turner . . . a magnificent book, scrupulously researched, with an unerring instinct for drama and pace."  —Historical Novels Review
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Anya Seton was born in New York City and grew up on her father's large estate in Cos Cob and Greenwich, Connecticut, where visiting Indians taught her Indian dancing and woodcraft. One Sioux chief called her Anutika, which means 'cloud grey eyes', a name which the family shortened to Anya. She was educated by governesses, and then travelled abroad, first to England, then to France where she hoped to become a doctor. She studied for a while at the Hotel Dieu hospital in Paris before marrying at eighteen and having three children. She began writing in 1938 with a short story sold to a newspaper syndicate and the first of her novels was published in 1941. She died in 1990. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME! Jan. 26 2007
By Misfit TOP 500 REVIEWER
What an incredible story of an amazing woman. Elizabeth Fones, married into the Winthrop family, the leader of that being John Winthrop who took his family to New England to govern the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Elizabeth was a rare woman indeed, going on to being one of the few women of her times to be a large landholder, married three times and finally finding great happiness and love in the last one to Will Hallet.

This book has it all -- passion, madness, bigotry, ignorant superstitions and religious persecution. The author beautifully weaves her story so that you feel you are there, from terrors of sailing the Atlantic, small pox, the sights, sounds and smells of the times, everything is perfectly melded to entertain and educate you about this period. I was also sorrowed at the eventual treatment of the Native Americans, from originally friendly terms, then to end so tragically. I found out much about a period in our nation's history that I only had the briefest of recollections from those long ago history lessons in school.

Anyone who enjoys historical fiction should put this one on their list. Highly recommended.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Childhood Favorite Nov. 5 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It is fun to remember books that made an impression on you as a young adult. An aunt gave this book to me when I turned thirteen and it is still in my top ten.
I recently re-read it again after reading Tracy Chevalier's, "Girl With a Pearl Earring." Both books are set during the 1600's -- although one in Delft and the other in England and early America.
I have recommended this book to several people over the years and not one has been disappointed. It is such a fabulous story (and you learn lots to boot!). Unfortunately, it is out of print -- but do not despair, it is easily found in used book stores.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My personal favorite Oct. 21 2010
By Amie
This book was fantastic, by far my favorite of Anya Seton's work. Incredibly detailed and vivid history with characters that are truly moving and entertaining. This book was difficult to put down, it is certainly something I will enjoy reading again and again.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE PURITAN LEGACY IN AMERICA... Nov. 26 2007
By Lawyeraau TOP 100 REVIEWER
This is a dazzling work of historical fiction that I first read as a young adult. Now, over thirty years after first reading it, I find that time has not diminished the power and passion of this exquisitely written work of historical fiction. At the heart of this fine novel, is Elizabeth Fones, an Englishwoman who would marry her first cousin, Harry Winthrop, and would go on to lead a life of which few of us would dream.

As a member of the austerely Puritan Winthrop family, Elizabeth would chafe under its restrictive influences. When the family fortunes abated in England due to the religious beliefs of the family patriarch, John Winthrop, Elizabeth's uncle and father-in-law, the entire family sets off for the New World to become founding members of the Massachusetts Bay colony, a theocracy under which Elizabeth was to know much heartache.

A passionate and vibrant woman, Elizabeth would have a number of personal situations that would cause her to become notorious amongst the Puritan colonists. She would be both reviled and admired for her actions, which were singular for those times. This is an absorbing, page turner of a book that takes a look at sixteenth century England during the tumultuous time that preceded the civil war that would see an act of regicide and the rise of Puritan Oliver Cromwell. It also relates the turmoil that underlay the government of the nascent Massachusetts Bay colony with all its factionalism, restrictive practices, and bigotry.
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