by Routh Trowbridge Wilby
Routh Trowbridge Wilby's biography of her grandmother, Rose Ker Foster, wife of Governor Murphy J. Foster, recalls the life of a woman who typified dignity, grace, and total command of presence. A quintessential Victorian-era woman, Rose Ker Foster shunned the limelight, in which her husband basked. She lived behind the scenes with her husband, her children, and her home foremost in her mind. Indeed, she was the "glue" that held together one of the state's most important turn-of-the-century political families.
The author, who lived with Mrs, Foster at Dixie Plantation during the former Louisiana first lady's twilight years, does a superb job of bringing her subject to life. Individual chapters explore Rose Ker Foster's early life as an orphan living with relatives in the Felicianas; her family background; her educational experiences; her marriage to rising politician Murphy J. Foster; her adjustment to life as a newlywed and mother; her roles as plantation mistress, mother, and first lady; her life as a widow; her successful attempt to maintain the plantation in the face of economic adversity; and her declining years. This biography is destined to take its place as one of the most important works on women in Louisiana history.
Hardcover, 262 pages, ©1997