A saga of early American life and society starring the mother of our country In her lifetime, Martha Washington was the best known woman in America and her reputation was heralded all over Europe. This new biography shows her to be much more?and much more compelling?than the amiable hostess and companion to George Washington that history has portrayed. Drawing on new research and offering a fresh assessment of Martha Washington, Helen Bryan presents a unique and revealing look at the wife of our first president and the society in which she was raised and flourished?a time of social climbing, love affairs, slavery, personal tragedy, and political triumph. Readers will also discover Martha's true role in her relationship with George?for instance, it was largely through his marriage to the wealthy Widow Custis that he became the leading figure of his age. Helen Bryan (London, UK) was born and raised in Virginia; her ancestors go back to the Revolution, when Martha Washington lived there. She is currently a barrister in London and a member of the Inner Temple.