Routh Trowbridge Wilby
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The life of a quintessential Victorian First Lady from Reconstruction into the 20th Century.
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 recount Rose's arrival as an orphan at Ellerslie Plantation during the immediate aftermath of the Civil War; her childhood and education; her marriage to Murphy J. Foster; her roles as plantation administrator, mother, and wife; and her golden years. 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 I. 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 new works on women in Louisiana history.
Routh Trowbridge Wilby was reared at Dixie. She attended Sophie Newcomb College and married Langfitt B. Wilby, a captain in the regular army. A free-lance writer for many years, her first book Clearing Bayou Teche After the Civil War: The Kingsbury Project. 1870-1871, was published in 1991. The Wilbys bought Dixie Plantation in 1986 and moved back to Louisiana from Houston, Texas. They have four children and six grandchildren
Center for Louisiana Studies
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Library of Congress: 97-67161
Book Publisher: Center for Louisiana Studies
No. of Pages: 250