As fresh and smart as the Lowell material is, the book really catches fire when Stuart tells her own immediate family's story: the two-year breakdown her beautiful mother suffered after giving birth to a daughter; the manic depression that nearly destroyed her brilliant brother, Johnny; the bad luck, blindness, and sheer selfishness that kept her branch perpetually strapped.
Instead, Sarah Payne Stuart has written a book that turns dark and sad. My hat is off to her for keeping her balance in the face of continuing peril. The inherited money of the subtitle, it turns out, was used up, and all that Robert Lowell's grandfather Arthur Winslow left his children was a line in his will: "The gift of life in New England and the heritage of our ancestry dating back to New England's early times. The madness went beyond eccentricity. It was a broad, heavy band of manic-depression that afflicted the family for generations
My first cousin once removed : money, madness, and the family of Robert Lowell by Sarah Payne Stuart( Book . Correspondence between Thomas and Winslow family members includes letters written by Joshua Winslow, Anna Green Winslow, Isaac Winslow, Sarah Deming, and Sarah Coverly, among others regarding family news and daily activities. Also included is a manuscript map of Fort Halifax on the bay of the Kennebec River, Maine, drawn October 1853.
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To judge by this memoir Sarah Payne Stuart is-mercifully-less manic and destructive than her famous first cousin once removed, Robert Lowell. Unfortunately, she's also a considerably less talented writer than he was, more goofy than insightful. I found her treatment of the writer Jean Stafford, Lowell's first wife, particularly cruel. For a book about Robert Lowell, it mostly concerns other members of the author's family. It does have some very interesting insights into an old New England family. I would recommend reading this book before the author's "Perfectly Miserable," as some of that book is a bit mysterious without the information in "My First Cousin Once Removed. Jun 10, 2014 Laura Vona rated it it was amazing. I adored this book and could see so much of my own eccentric, yet well meaning Boston relatives in it.
Sarah Payne Stuart makes me howl and a second later makes me thank God that I've got both oars in the water. Published by Thriftbooks. Sarah Stuart has done a remarkable job of limning the WASP world of Robert Lowell's family - and her own. She is cheerfully honest, perceptive and quite amazingly intelligent. The picture she draws lingers with the reader long after the book has been put down. Her portrait of Lowell is refreshingly free from the amateur Freudian analysis so tiresomely characteristic of many memoirs.
By Sarah Payne Stuart. 244 pp. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. 'My first cousin once removed was Robert Lowell, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet - a fact I just happened to mention on my application to Harvard College. The worst part was that I had to work this genealogical information into the essay. Thus begins ''My First Cousin Once Removed: Money, Madness, and the Family of Robert Lowell.
My First Cousin Once Remo. has been added to your Cart. Sarah Payne Stuart grew up in a family of aristocratic lineage whose fortune had long ago been lost. Among the many family documents cited is a Boston Globe article in which Lowell's bankrupt grandfather is quoted in his will as having left his children their good breeding and Boston heritage. I usually wait until I've read a book to page 100 before I decide whether to continue, but this book only made it to page 45. It's well written, but it's heavy with detail, making for slow reading.
Sarah Payne Stuart grew up in a family of aristocratic lineage whose fortune had long ago been lost. Among the many family documents cited is a Boston Globe article in which Lowell's bankrupt grandfather is quoted in his will as having left his children their good breeding and Boston heritage
Money, Madness, and the Family of Robert Lowell. by Sarah Payne Stuart. There was his cold and proper mother, Charlotte Lowell; grandfather Arthur Winslow, whose approval he craved; and stern, rich Aunt Sarah, who loved yet then spurned Bobby