Saturday, August 6, 2016

Do you know Widow History? Take the Widow Quiz!

What did Mark Twain, George Burns, Mary Todd Lincoln, and Amelia Earhart's widower do after losing their spouse?  About “After the Loss of a Spouse: Henry VIII to Julia Child”, David S. Martin, Professor/Dean Emeritus, Gallaudet University, writes: "How they handled their loss, their guilt, and in some cases a plan for a future without their spouses, makes fascinating reading for anyone with interest in both the history and the human side of well-known figures."


See questions below the 18 featured widow/ers or click here to print pdf of quiz:


  1. Mark Twain
  2. Captain von Trapp
  3. C.S. Lewis
  4. George Burns
  5. Henry VIII
  6. Grandma Moses
  7. Martha Washington
  8. Norman Rockwell
  9. Mary Todd Lincoln
  10. Julia Child 
  11. Coretta Scott King
  12. George Palmer Putnam
  13. Milton Hershey
  14. Katharine Graham
  15. Abby Day Slocomb
  16. Frances Sawyer Wolfe
  17. William Gillette
  18. Hetty Green


1.      Who fell in love again over poetry? ___


2.      Whose bodily fluids after death were licked up by a dog? ___


3.      Who was declared insane and committed to a mental asylum?  ___

4.      Who left a restaurant in the middle of dessert when news of spouse’s death was received? ___

5.      Who “adopted” granddaughters by forming a literary club? ___
6.      Who earned the title, “World’s Greatest Miser”? ___
7.      Whose memoir revealed their infidelity and spouse’s reaction to it? ___
8.      Whose spouse died in Texas’s worst maritime disaster then moved into a house with a widow’s walk in Mystic, Connecticut? ___
9.      Who wanted their missing spouse declared legally dead before the standard 7-year period? ___
10.   Who left the bedroom and moved to the attic? ___
11.   Which former Confederate went on to design the Connecticut State flag and write a letter not to be read for 100 years? ___
12.   Who became Sherlock Holmes on stage and coined the phrase, “Elementary, my dear Watson” (hint: he also held birthday parties for cats on his houseboat)? ___
13.   Who chose to pursue painting rather than raise chickens? ___
14.   Who was arrested with three of their children? ___
15.   Who rejected marrying a princess because he fell in love with a household staff member? ___
16.   Which RMS Titanic ticket holder, who took an earlier ship home, donated their entire fortune to a school for orphans? ___

17.      Who took over her spouse’s work and received threats for her role in bringing down the Nixon administration? ___
18.   Who wrote: “Why is He [God] so present a commander in our time of prosperity and so very absent a help in time of trouble?” ___

Answers to the above are found in book: After the Loss of a Spouse: From Henry VIII to Julia Child by Lisa Saunders.

Each widow/er chapter is followed by questions for discussion. Order through your bookstore or Amazon (available in paperback and e-book). Answers to the above questions found on following pages:

1: (p. 74); 2: (p.4); 3: (p.16); 4: (p. 97); 5: (p. 21); 6: (p. 25); 7: (p.87); 8: (p.37); 9: (p. 54); 10: (p. 7); 11: (p. 103); 12: (p. 44); 13: (p. 62); 14: (p.101); 15: (p. 79); 16: (p.59); 17:(p. 93); 18: (p.70).
Contact author Lisa Saunders at: or visit her at

Upcoming Events/Workshop with Lisa Saunders

Friday, August 12, 7:45 p.m.

Talk: "Tales of Famous Connecticut Widow's Walks"

Free and open to the public

Mystic River Yacht Club (next to Engine Room restaurant)

14 Holmes Street, Mystic, CT 06355, (More info:, 860 536-0066)
Lisa Saunders, author of “After the Loss of a Spouse: From Henry VIII to Julia Child” with discuss famous widow/ers with Connecticut ties such as Amelia Earhart’s widower, George Palmer Putnam (married in Noank); Mark Twain, who had a lot to say about Mystic; the widow behind the Connecticut State flag design, Abby Day Slocomb, who enclosed a challenge in a 100-year-old time capsule sent from Europe during WWI; William Gillette (a.k.a Sherlock Holmes) of Gillette's Castle in East Haddam; and the Guinness World Record Holder for "Greatest Miser," Hetty Green, who is connected to the last surviving wooden whaleship in the world, the Charles W. Morgan, at Mystic Seaport.


Weds, Aug. 24, 6 p.m.

"After the Loss" Self-Improvement Series

Free and open to the public

Bank Square Books, 2nd floor

Authors Dr. Joanne Z. Moore and Lisa Saunders will discuss lifestyle options after the loss of a spouse. Saunders will tell stories of historic figures such as Amelia Earhart's husband and Mark Twain, and Dr. Moore will present modern strategies for developing a new philosophy of life after the disappointment of loss. Saunders and Dr. Moore are authors of the books, After the Loss of a Spouse: From Henry VIII to Julia Child and After the Loss of a Spouse: What's Next?  respectively. More info:, (860) 536-3795,

 Amazon link to book:


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