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Today We Learn About: Mr. and Mrs. Prince

Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina’s Mr. and Mrs. Prince gives the reader a deeply personal look at the process of researching individuals that were once thought unsearchable. We are treated with not only the life story of the books namesakes, but also a vivid account of the struggle to research these individuals, complete with the author’s own personal discoveries and emotional reactions. These are the qualities that set Mr. and Mrs. Prince apart, for the book would stand alone splendidly if it merely told the story of the former slaves who work their way into freedom, buying land, and starting a family along the way. Instead the reader is given the treat of sharing in the writer’s own experiences, from learning of her own connection to the Prince family and hours traveling with her husband in search of previously unfound sources, to deciphering Latin abbreviations in medical records in an effort to piece together the family’s health history. The insight we are given, the emotional connection the author feels toward the story, and level of research described within the tale are all impressive, and serve to weave a story that leaves the reader not only with an understanding of the Prince family, but the author herself. Continue reading

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