Louisa Thomas biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Louisa Thomas
Photo: Jesse Ruddock

Louisa Thomas

Louisa Thomas Biography

Louisa Thomas is the author of Conscience: Two Soldiers, Two Pacifists, One Family - a Test of Will and Faith in World War I, and Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs Adams. She is a former writer and editor for Grantland and a former fellow at the New America Foundation. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Vogue, The Paris Review, and other places.



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Interview

Louisa Thomas explains the process behind the research for her biography of the only foreign-born first lady, Louisa Adams.

Louisa Adams is a lesser-known 19th century First Lady. Why did you decide to tell her story?

Louisa Catherine Adams is lesser known, but not less notable. She was a vital presence in the early republic, a social force that helped shape the political landscape in Washington, and a witness to the great transformations not only in the United States but also Europe. She was born in London and lived in France, Berlin, and St. Petersburg; she crossed the battlefields of the Napoleonic Wars, converging on Paris with Napoleon, who'd just escaped from Elba. At a time when most women—most people—were incredibly constrained, the range of her experiences is astonishing. She makes history seem human.

What, apart from sharing a first name, first attracted you to Louisa Adams' story?

I do like her name! But it was her voice that drew me in. I read some of her letters and diaries while working on a project about Andrew Jackson, and I was struck by how unusual they were—how urgent, observant, sharp, and alive they felt. Louisa laid bare her thoughts and feelings in a way that few figures from her time do. She wondered what to live for and why. There is something about her that we usually only see in the pages ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Louisa Thomas at BookBrowse
Louisa jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Louisa Thomas but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Karen Abbott

    Karen Abbott

    Karen Abbott is the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City, American Rose, and, most recently, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy, named one of the best books of 2014 by Library Journal, the Christian Science ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Louisa

    Try:
    Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy
    by Karen Abbott

  • Melanie Benjamin

    Melanie Benjamin

    Melanie Benjamin was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. An avid reader all her life - as a child, she was the proud winner, several years running, of the summer reading program at her local library - she still firmly believes ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Louisa

    Try:
    The Aviator's Wife
    by Melanie Benjamin

We recommend 5 similar authors

View all 5 Readalikes

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