Adams Letter Book

The minis­eries is now on DVD and a friend was talk­ing to me about it. Here’s what I said for any­one inter­est­ed in John, Abby and the accu­ra­cy of the series. Warn­ing… Lisa and I are seri­ous John & Abby geeks. We’ve read much about and by them, and researched the facts behind the minis­eries when it aired… so we are kin­da snot­ty about this 😉

We actu­al­ly got HBO to see it when aired. I was impressed with how pow­er­ful that scene and John’s court scene were. I knew those *facts* but this helped me see and feel them (how bru­tal that was, and the full stress of the court case).

As John Adams snobs, we were both­ered by a few things… they show Abi­gail as very witchy, unsup­port­ive, nag­ging. They show her hav­ing a fair­ly fake con­ver­sa­tion with Wash­ing­ton. They show John as unsure, inse­cure, mousy. They show their rela­tion­ship as stress­ful, com­bat­ive. They show her as very alone, scrub­bing her floors. They had lots of fam­i­ly around, ser­vants, etc.

They showed him as uncar­ing as a father and blame him for one son being a bum (by mak­ing it look like they nev­er saw each oth­er, where real­ly John brought him on one of the Europe trips for years).

I sug­gest that an easy, fun, fast read to get their per­son­al­i­ties and rela­tion­ship right is ‘The Let­ters of John and Abi­gail Adams’. Pri­vate let­ters, in their own words paint a much truer pic­ture of them.

The David McCul­lough book that the series is based on is also stun­ning and a great read. Fun­ny how much of the com­plaints about the HBO series are pre­sent­ed direct­ly oppo­site of how McCul­lough wrote about them… ah well, books being turned into TV…

Oth­er­wise, it was worth see­ing the film. It gives a lot of life, con­text, real­i­ty to the facts we’ve read about.

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