The Three Graces of Val-Kill: Eleanor Roosevelt, Marion Dickerman, and Nancy Cook in the Place They Made Their Own

By Emily Herring Wilson
Read by Bernadette Dunne

6.39 Hours 09/05/2017 unabridged
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The Three Graces of Val-Kill changes the way we think about Eleanor Roosevelt. Emily Wilson examines what she calls the most formative period in Roosevelt’s life, from 1922 to 1936, when she cultivated an intimate friendship with Marion Dickerman and Nancy Cook, who helped her build a cottage on the Val-Kill Creek in Hyde Park on the Roosevelt family land. In the early years, the three women—the “three graces,” as Franklin Delano Roosevelt called them—were nearly inseparable and forged a female-centered community for each other, for family, and for New York’s progressive women. Examining this network of close female friends gives readers a more comprehensive picture of the Roosevelts and Eleanor’s burgeoning independence in the years that marked Franklin’s rise to power in politics. Wilson takes care to show all the nuances and complexities of the women’s relationship, which blended the political with the personal. Val-Kill was not only home to Eleanor Roosevelt but also a crucial part of how she became one of the most admired American political figures of the twentieth century. In Wilson’s telling, she emerges out of the shadows of monumental histories and documentaries as a woman in search of herself.

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Summary

Summary

The Three Graces of Val-Kill changes the way we think about Eleanor Roosevelt. Emily Wilson examines what she calls the most formative period in Roosevelt’s life, from 1922 to 1936, when she cultivated an intimate friendship with Marion Dickerman and Nancy Cook, who helped her build a cottage on the Val-Kill Creek in Hyde Park on the Roosevelt family land. In the early years, the three women—the “three graces,” as Franklin Delano Roosevelt called them—were nearly inseparable and forged a female-centered community for each other, for family, and for New York’s progressive women. Examining this network of close female friends gives readers a more comprehensive picture of the Roosevelts and Eleanor’s burgeoning independence in the years that marked Franklin’s rise to power in politics.

Wilson takes care to show all the nuances and complexities of the women’s relationship, which blended the political with the personal. Val-Kill was not only home to Eleanor Roosevelt but also a crucial part of how she became one of the most admired American political figures of the twentieth century. In Wilson’s telling, she emerges out of the shadows of monumental histories and documentaries as a woman in search of herself.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“The author skillfully interweaves the story of Val-Kill with larger themes in her subject’s life…For general readers, especially those interested in feminist biography.” Library Journal
“For me, Wilson’s book counts as tough and wise, the best yet on the subject of Val-Kill’s genesis and history; beautifully written, too.” Eleanor (Ellie) R. Seagraves, eldest grandchild of Eleanor Roosevelt
“The Three Graces of Val-Kill is a welcome addition to the books and memoirs about the Roosevelt family, providing a fresh look at Eleanor through the home she shared with Nan Cook and Marion Dickerman.” Susan Ware, author of Game, Set, Match: Billie Jean King and the Revolution in Women’s Sports

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Emily Herring Wilson

Emily Herring Wilson is a writer and teacher in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and the recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature and the John Tyler Caldwell Award.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
Runtime: 6.39
Audience: Adult
Language: English