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Treacherous Beauty: Peggy Shippen, The Woman…
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Treacherous Beauty: Peggy Shippen, The Woman Behind Benedict Arnold's…

by Stephen Case, Mark Jacob

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Overall, I found this biography to be disappointing. The authors' sole point was to conclude that Peggy Shippen, wife of Benedict Arnold, was a key figure in his treason plot. Once they made the point, there wasn't much for them to do aside from repeat it and repeat the same evidence from letters over and over. All we really learn about Peggy is that she was a Philadelphia belle, pretty and lively and admired by British spy John Andre, and that, as a wife, she proved to have a good head for figures and household management. When Arnold's treachery was uncovered, she either went temporarily mad or feigned madness in order to escape detection of her role in the plot. Eventually, she was given a choice: go back to your father's house in Philadelphia, or join Arnold in the British enclave in New York; she chose the latter. (Arnold came across as particularly despicable in this account, not only plotting to betray the patriots and possibly set up the capture of Washington, but constantly plaguing the British with demands for more cash in return for his efforts, even years after the war for independence ended.) The couple and their children moved to London, but Arnold, forever the speculator, moved them to Canada in hopes of cashing in on a land scheme. It didn't work, and they headed back to London, where Peggy lived until her death.

Only about 60% of the book is composed of actual biography; the rest is a long list of acknowledgements, an even longer bibliography, and a long index. The whole thing could easily have been covered in a monograph, if not a 30-40 page article. ( )
2 vote Cariola | Jan 29, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Caseprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jacob, Markmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 076277388X, Hardcover)

Treacherous Beauty is the first popular biography of an eighteenth-century society girl named Peggy Shippen—close friend of a British spymaster and wife of Benedict Arnold—and how she was instrumental to the treasonous plot to sabotage the American Revolution.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:35 -0400)

The first popular biography of an eighteenth-century society girl named Peggy Shippen{8212}close friend of a British spymaster and wife of Benedict Arnold{8212}and how she was instrumental to the treasonous plot to sabotage the American Revolution.

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