Lisa Saunders & Mystic Seafarer's Trail

Lisa Saunders

Author, TV talk show host, and CMV fighter


Stories of 18 Famous Widow/ers

by Lisa Saunders

Click here to buy the paperback or e-book on Amazon (or order through your local bookstore):

The new book, “After the Loss of a Spouse: Henry VIII to Julia Child” by Lisa Saunders, examines the bittersweet human condition of love and loss though the lens of history. By learning how these famous (and infamous) people managed their lives after the loss of a spouse, we come to realize the potential that exists in all of us. Anyone who loves a romantic history lesson will be intrigued by this book. Perfect for individuals and for groups. Includes questions for discussion.

Featured widow/ers include:


·         C.S. Lewis (England)

·         King Henry VIII (England)

·         George Burns  (from Lower East Side of Manhattan to Beverly Hills, California)

·         Coretta Scott King (The King Center in Atlanta, GA)

·         Martha Washington of Mount Vernon, Virginia

·         Katharine Graham (of The Washington Post)

·         Julia Child of Cambridge, Mass. (her kitchen at the Smithsonian in D.C.)

·         Mary Todd Lincoln with detailed account of her night at Ford's Theatre. Buried Springfield, Illinois)

·         Milton Hershey (Hershey's Kisses) of Pennsylvania.

·         Mark Twain, formerly of Hannibal, Missouri, Hartford, Conn., buried in Elmira, New York.

·         Abby Day Slocomb, the former Confederate nurse behind the design of the Connecticut State flag who                 enclosed a challenge in a recently opened 100-year-old time capsule sent from Europe during WWI.

·         Norman Rockwell, buried in Stockbridge, Mass., home of the Normal Rockwell Museum.

·         Captain von Trapp, of Stowe, VT (of The Sound of Music)

·         Hetty Green of New Bedford, Mass., the Guinness World Record Holder for "Greatest Miser" and known as           the “Witch of Wall Street.” Her father once owned the last surviving wooden whaleship in the world, the                 Charles W. Morgan, now located at Mystic Seaport.

·         George Palmer Putnam (Amelia Earhart’s widower). Secretly married Earhart in Noank, Conn.

·         Francis Wolfe Sisson of Mystic, Conn., who likely contemplated the dramatic death of her sea captain                 husband in Texas's deadliest maritime disaster on her "widow's walk." 

·         Grandma Moses of Hoosick Falls, New York. Largest collection of her art at Bennington Museum,                       Vermont.

·         William Gillette (a.k.a Sherlock Holmes) of Gillette's Castle in East Haddam, Conn.

This is the second book in the "After the Loss of a Spouse" series published by Act II Publications, LLC.


"Lisa Saunders has written an indispensable book about life after loss—and what we can learn from history's famous (and occasionally infamous) widows and widowers. There's something to be said for the resilience of the human spirit, and this book is a testament to that." — John Valeri, Hartford Books Examiner

"Based on a unique and previously uncovered topic in history, this work encompasses a broad span of time and shows clearly the commonalities, as well as uniquenesses, of these stories about the famous. 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." David S. Martin, Professor/Dean Emeritus, Gallaudet University

From Dr. Joanne Z. Moore, Publisher, Act II Publications, LLC: Lisa Saunders dares to inquire into the personal lives of public figures of history when their lives have been turned upside down by the loss of their spouse. An old adage states, “Behind every great man there’s a great woman.” What happens, then, to that man when he is left to stand on his own? And what happens to that great woman when her husband is gone?

Lisa Saunders is an award-winning writer and TV talk show host living in Mystic, Connecticut, with her husband, Jim, and hound, Doolittle. A graduate of Cornell University, she is the author of several books and works as a part-time history interpreter at Mystic Seaport. Lisa is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (Anna Warner Bailey Chapter) and the Mystic River Historical Society. She is the parent representative of the Congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Foundation and was instrumental in getting Connecticut to become the second state in the U.S. to enact a law to combat the leading viral cause of birth defects, congenital CMV. Lisa and her husband serve as cadet sponsors for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Visit Lisa at:,