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A novel about heiress Mary Philipse's relationship with George Washington based on historical accounts letters and personal journals by nine time New York Emmy award winning journalist Mary Calvi Love is said to be an involuntary passion and it is therefore contended that it cannot be resisted George WashingtonDid unreuited love help spark a flame that ignited a cause that became the American Revolution? Never before has this story about George Washington been told Crafted from hundreds of letters witness accounts and journal entries Dear George Dear Mary explores George's relationship with his first love New York heiress Mary Philipse the richest belle in Colonial AmericaFrom elegant eighteenth century society to bloody battlefields the novel creates breathtaking scenes and riveting characters Dramatic portraits of the two main characters unveil a Washington on the precipice of greatness using the very words he spoke and wrote and his ravishing love whose outward beauty and refinement disguise a complex inner struggle Dear George Dear Mary reveals why George Washington had such bitter resentment toward the Brits established nearly two decades before the American Revolution and it unveils details of a deception long hidden from the world that led Mary Philipse to be named a traitor condemned to death and left with nothing While that may sound like the end ultimately both Mary and George achieve what they always wanted


10 thoughts on “Dear George Dear Mary

  1. says:

    I’m always a little hesitant to read biographical novels because it’s hard to separate the truth from the fiction but I couldn’t resist this one because it just sounded so interesting When I think of George Washington and his personal life it’s Martha who comes to mind This book tells the story of a romance in Washington’s earlier life with Mary Philipse a young NY heiress The author assures the reader in her opening note that the novel is based on “thousands of letters journal entries publications and other sources related to George Washington” It appears to be well researched given what she tells us as well as the numerous sources listed I thought I would be fascinated but I just wasn’t The language was too flowery for me The addition of a uote at the beginning of each chapter from Washington while interesting felt added in rather than part of the narrative The suggested premise that this relationship may have been an impetus for the American Revolution was hard for me to buy The bottom line is that this just wasn’t for me I have no problem giving up on a book that isn’t working for me but I kept reading because I really liked Mary’s character and wanted to see what would happen to her There are many highly rated reviews and I suggest that fans of historical romance read these before taking just my wordI received an advanced copy of this book from St Martin’s Press through NetGalley


  2. says:

    Thanks to Netgalley and St Martin's Press for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review A lot of research went into the writing of George Washington and his first love Mary Eliza Philipse in the 1750's Never having heard of the woman before Martha I was uite intrigued The author illustrates a young man on the rise in the army and the people that loved him and were jealous of him Mary Eliza Philipse was the belle of the North and when she meets the dashing army officer it is a deep love However a darkness surrounds Mary that may threaten their relationship What really did stop them from marrying? This was undoubtedly a very tough follow up to My Dear Hamilton which I started reading at the same time I made the decision to put this arc aside and read a variety of other books before returning to it again Let me be frank I just couldn't help the comparisons to those two books I fell for Eliza and Alexander Hamilton and how they were presented by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie But George and Mary I just never could bring myself there Yet I feel that Mary Calvi does her utmost best to give them back stories However the result of my own reading made me feel little empathy and a lot of uncertainty As I mentioned in my beginning paragraph I stated there was a lot of research There is the end of the novel does list the various letters papers and books to help further our understanding of the relationship between these two people Personally I don't feel curious enough to pursue it any longer


  3. says:

    Find this and other reviews at I get too far ahead of myself I want to note that I’m in the minority when it comes to Mary Calvi’s Dear George Dear Mary Most readers really loved the time they spent with this book and as such I hope anyone reading this takes my feedback with a grain of saltCalvi based this story on a little known chapter of George Washington’s life and while I liked the material I found the thesis difficult to swallow I don’t mean to be rude but suggesting the ignition switch of the American Revolution is rooted in George Washington’s relationship with Mary Philipse reuires the reader to ignore the social landscape of the colonies and a myriad of policies that favored the interests of the Crown over the interests of its subjects A war started by love might work for Homer but I don’t feel it appropriate when exploring the American RevolutionI found the political dialogue in this piece minimal which was hard as I am a reader who enjoys such things but I also found it difficult to build relationships with Calvi’s cast or envision the world they inhabited Calvi is good at describing the mechanics of her story but her worldbuilding and character development didn’t come through the way I needed them to Calvi’s style was too dry for my tastes and I felt it took far too long for the plot to come full circleAt the end of the day I found Calvi’s story creative but feel I was a poor fit for it and would have a hard time recommending it alongside novels like America’s First Daughter or The Turncoat


  4. says:

    A heartbreaking love story intertwined with George Washington’s military exploits ⭐️⭐️⭐️ SUMMARYThis ill fated love story between New York heiress Mary Eliza Philipse with George Washington is based on historical accounts letters and personal journals Twenty four year old Washington has just been appointed Colonel of the Virginia Regiment and commander in chief of all forces of the colony Mary is rich and ravishingly beautiful but she is haunted by the loss of her parents her sister and a childhood friend She finds each day at the manor house on the Hudson River a struggle to survive On Valentines Day 1756 Mary’s family hosts a special evening of music and dancing for over two hundred friends The purpose of the event was to introduce a reluctant Mary also known as the Belle of the North to the handsome brave and heroic Colonel Washington By the end of this special evening the two had fallen in love “You are capable of the impossible for you have survived the unthinkable”REVIEWDEAR GEORGE DEAR MARY is a heartbreaking love story intertwined with Washington’s military exploits This is one of those historical fiction novels that leaves you scratching your head What is fact and what is fiction? Undoubtedly Washington’s uotes military deployments and journal entries are all factual But what about George’s feelings about Mary and the reference that couple’s unreuited love sparked a flame that ignited a cause that became the American Revolution SeriouslyFrom the title I was totally expecting that the book would contain the content of the actual letters between George and Mary It did not But it did a great job of giving us a look at pre Revolutionary war society It is evident that much research went into the book One of the things I loved was how author MARY CALVI cleverly weaves many of George’s 110 rules of correct behavior into relevant scenes in the book Calvi’s writing is beautifully descriptive and I absolutely fell in love with Mary Philipse Calvi is a nine time New York Emmy award winning journalist She is a television news anchor in New York City This is her debut novel Thanks to Netgalley St Martin’s Press and Mary Calvi for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review “I am a woman who knows a good fortune does not necessitate the yearning for a husband”Publisher St Martins PressPublished February 19 2019Review wwwbluestockingreviewscom


  5. says:

    Tl;dr An interesting premise that can't decide if it's fiction or nonfiction and the result is a dense almost story that fails to convinceThe idea behind Dear George Dear Mary is a great one what about George Washington's life prior to the Revolutionary War helped shape him? and how did his romance with Mary Philipse play a role?Mary Calvi definitely did her research which is wonderful but instead of using it to build a story she just uses it presents it which would be fine in nonfiction but simply doesn't work for building a compelling story I didn't care about George or Mary enough and didn't buy the bridge she was trying to sell regarding Mary and George and the beginnings of his place in the Revolutionary WarMost importantly I didn't believe in the romance despite of or accurately because of the use of the yes well researched but so dry chunks of documents with an emphasis on military movements etc that I think were meant to convince but left me feeling like I'd read about the idea of the romance instead of getting actual romance And I really wanted the ronance Again the idea of Dear George Dear Mary is great And after this book I don't doubt that their relationship was real or meaningful I just didn't believe in itWould have been better as nonfiction


  6. says:

    DEAR GEORGE DEAR MARY is the story about George Washington's relationship with Mary Philipse Mary Calvi has written a story based on hundreds of letters witness accounts and journal entries reconstructing George Washington courting of New York heiress Mary PhilipseREAD THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION


  7. says:

    A fascinating novel featuring George Washington's first love New York heiress Mary Philipse the richest belle in Colonial America Dear George Dear Mary is the result of hundreds of letters witness accounts and journal entries Elegant descriptions of eighteenth century life from ballrooms to the bloody battlefields I had never heard of Mary Philipse before I read this book and though this is fiction I will look her up to read about her and her fascinating lifePublished February 19th 2019I was given a complimentary copy of this book from St Martin's Press through NetGalley Thank you All opinions expressed are my own


  8. says:

    I found this story uite interesting in that it gave the reader a different picture of George Washington His 150 rules of conduct were obviously something he tried very hard to live by and they all appeared to be supported by either common sense or good morals It was obvious that Calvi's historical research for this book was plentiful yet it was difficult to determine what was really fact and what was fiction We always seem to look at Washington either from a military or presidential point of view and this book did make him seem human It is easy to imagine him as a young man being swept away by a beautiful young lady who was at ease with him since his immediate family was all gone other than a sister in law I would find it debatable though that he kept up a relationship with her after his marriage to Martha or that he joined the Patriots because he couldn't marry her I feel he became very frustrated with his lack of progress when serving with the British forces and that as well as the treatment of the new country by Britain were his reasons behind his switch in loyalty His treatment of Mary during the Battles was IMHO due to his previous relationship with her as well as his 150 rules of courtesy Generally an interesting read that I would recommend for a different perspective of our first president I received a complimentary copy of this book from St Martin's Press through NetGalley Opinions are mine alone I was not compensated for this review


  9. says:

    I have long been fascinated by George Washington So naturally I was intrigued by the idea of Dear George Dear Mary Honestly this was not a story I enjoyed and barely finished I know that George Washington had relationships with women and feelings for at least one before and after his marriage to Martha His relationship with Sally Fairfax is well known However I was unaware of the existence of Mary Philipse before reading this novel While I appreciate that the author did extensive research using historical accounts letters and journals to create this fictionalized story I have a difficult time believing that George's perceptions and hatred of the British all stemmed from a failed relationship That just does not ring true for meI found the novel long on detail and short on story There was too much he did something and she felt something And I struggled to find any sort of connection or empathy to these characters Ultimately though I think that many readers of history and historical fiction will enjoy this story And early reviews have many readers praising it It just wasn't a good fit for me


  10. says:

    Nope nope NOPE This book started so well and I was even ok with overlooking the purple prose and the fiction than fact but this author took way too liberal license to make Washington a cheater and cheated on his wife with the now married Mary I just don't see it after we see his character so strongly Ugh just ruined this book for me It was a 4 star read before this crap I prefer historical fiction about real people to be rooted in fact She even changed the entire reason behind the revolutionary war Absolute drivel