Karen Abbott Quotes
“After nearly three years of dealing with Winder, throughout all of their delicate negotiations and volatile truces, she finally understood: he recognized her as a true patriot, someone who didn’t want to denigrate the South so much as nudge it back to where it belonged, a citizen stuck in a prodigal country. Because she was a woman—a wealthy, socially prominent woman at that—he tempered his suspicions with decency and Southern manners. He respected her dedication to her cause even as it diverged from his own, and the constant monitoring and attempts at entrapment were merely requirements of his job.”
“In a late interview, Belle herself characterized her life as if it were one long sin that needed to be confessed—with one pointed exception. “I have lied, sworn, killed (I guess) and I have stolen,” she said. “But . . . I thank God that I can say on my death bed that I am a virtuous woman. . . . Fortune has played me a sad trick by letting me live on and on.”
“A boy must do the job well, and develop personality. A girl must do the job well and develop personality. PLUS— Break down skepticism about her ability. Walk the tight-rope of sexlessness without loss of her essential charm. Keep up an impersonal fight against constant efforts to sidetrack her. Devote extra work and thought to making an opportunity out of every little opening. Make the hard choice between giving up children and home life in order to advance, or having them in the face of increased prejudice. And lastly, maintain a cheerful and normal outlook on life and its adjustments in spite of her handicaps.”
“There was work for everyone to do, even the women—especially the women. They had to adjust quickly to the sudden absence of fathers and husbands and sons, to the idea that things would never be as they had been. They had no vote, no straightforward access to political discourse, no influence in how the battles were waged. Instead they took control of homes, businesses, plantations.”
“They never found Captain Henry, but Samuel finally got his answer from Belle: Yes, she said, she would be his wife. She believed that God had intended them to “meet and love,” and that He had purposely sent her a Yankee, a Union boy from Brooklyn. “Women,” she reasoned, “can sometimes work wonders; and may not he, who is of Northern
birth, come by degrees to love, for my sake, the ill-used South?”
- Born: Philadelphia, PA, The United States.
- Description: Karen Abbott is the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America's Soul, American Rose: A Nation Laid Bare: The Life and Times of Gypsy Rose Lee, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War, and, most recently, The Ghosts of Eden Park: The Bootleg King, the Women Who Pursued Him, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz- Age America, named an Amazon best book of the month for August 2019. She has written for newyorker.com, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Smithsonian Magazine, Salon and other publications.