The ‘Beautiful’ Martha Washington
If given our druthers, who amongst us would prefer to have our “picture” taken when we were in our 40s or 50s? Not too many. I don’t know why there are no surviving portraits of Martha Custis Washington as a young woman, but it’s a shame to think we’ve been introduced to her only as an old, crabby-looking woman.
I am an amateur genealogist who has often come across a document that describes someone as comely or handsome, but the surviving photographic evidence belies such adjectives. It’s not that I don’t believe that such beauty existed as much as I understand how life changes our appearance, often not for the better.
I love that forensic anthropologists took it upon themselves to disabuse us of our incorrect impressions of Martha Washington. We should all be so fortunate.
I think Martha would approve.