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Mrs. Henry Adams (1843–1885)

Author of The Letters of Mrs. Henry Adams 1865-1883

Includes the names: adamsclover, Marian Hooper Adams

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Marian Hooper, known as Clover, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to a wealthy and prominent family. Her father was Robert Hooper, a physician, and her mother was Ellen Sturgis Hooper, a Transcendentalist poet. Her mother died when she was five years old, and she and her two older siblings were raised by their father. She remained close to him thoughout her life. She was privately educated at a girls school run by Elizabeth and Louis Agassiz in their home in Cambridge. In 1872, she married historian and writer Henry Adams, grandson and great-grandson of Presidents, and went on a honeymoon to Europe. Upon their return, their home in Boston became a gathering place for a lively circle of intellectuals. In 1877, they moved to Washington, D.C., where their home on Lafayette Square, across the street from the White House, became a popular social setting for the city's elite. Clover wrote long, witty letters to her father, other family members, and friends, that provide insight into the Washington life and politics of the day. In 1883, she became one of the earliest portrait photographers in the USA. Her work included formal and informal portraits of politicians, friends, members of the extended Adams and Hooper families, interior scenes, and landscapes in Washington, Boston and the North Shore. Her photographs were widely praised, although her husband apparently discouraged their publication. After her father's death in 1885, she sank into overwhelming depression and committed suicide by swallowing potassium cyanide, used in developing photographs. She was 42 years old. Her husband commissioned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to create a memorial for her grave in Rock Creek Cemetery, a work of art sometimes called Grief. Her letters to her father were published as The Letters of Mrs. Henry Adams, 1865–1883 in 1936.
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