Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule

  • by Jennifer Chiaverini
  • Narrated by Christina Moore
  • 15 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1844, Missouri belle Julia Dent met dazzling horseman Lieutenant Ulysses S Grant. Four years passed before their parents permitted them to wed, and the groom's abolitionist family refused to attend the ceremony. Since childhood, Julia owned as a slave another Julia, known as Jule. Jule guarded her mistress' closely held twin secrets: She had perilously poor vision but was gifted with prophetic sight. So it was that Jule became Julia's eyes to the world. And what a world it was, marked by gathering clouds of war.
The Grants vowed never to be separated, but as Ulysses rose through the ranks - becoming general in chief of the Union Army - so did the stakes of their pact. During the war, Julia would travel, often in the company of Jule and the four Grant children, facing unreliable transportation and certain danger to be at her husband's side. Yet Julia and Jule saw two different wars. While Julia spoke out for women - Union and Confederate - she continued to hold Jule as a slave behind Union lines. Upon the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Jule claimed her freedom and rose to prominence as a businesswoman in her own right, taking the honorary title Madame. The two women's paths continued to cross throughout the Grants' White House years in Washington, DC, and later in New York City, the site of Grant’s Tomb.


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Customer Reviews

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This book was published March 3, 2015. The book follows the lives of two girls: Julia Dent and her slave Jule. As children they were best of friends and were always together. As they grew older the line between master and slave grew.

Julia married Ulysses Grant and despite his loyalty to the Union their marriage succeeded. Ulysses quickly rose in the ranks and Julia traveled with him from post to post. While the Civil war raged, Jule was battling her loyalty to Julia and her desire to be free. Julia Grant found it difficult to write, read and sew because she was cross-eyed. Chiaverini demonstrated repeatedly in the story how much difficulty Julia had with her vision problems and myopia.

The author paints a dramatic picture of the Civil War, from the assassination of Lincoln to Grant’s presidency as we follow the lives of Julia and Jule. Jule is able to read and is a gifted hairdresser. She is determined to make her own mark on society. I just finished read the book “First Lady of the Confederacy” by Joan E. Cashin about Varnia Howell Davis. Both books tell about the post Civil War friendship between Julia Grant and Varnia Davis and their work to bring the country together after the War. Julia Grant with the help of her son General Frederick Dent Grant arranged the military funeral in New York for Varnia Davis.

This book provides an inside look at the wife of Ulysses Grant and reveals her life as First Lady. Julia Grant apparently enjoyed being first lady. This is a well written and fascinating book about the life of Julia Dent Grant. Christina Moore narrated the book.
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- Jean "I am an avid eclectic reader."


A historical fiction by one of my favorite authors, this book was one of the best books I've ever read. It was not only a tender story of General and Mrs. Grant's love and affection for each other, but a biography of their lives and a description of the times. Madame Jule was Julia Dent's maid from childhood, a slave belonging to her father, meaning Julia couldn't free her...but did she ever ask her father to free Jule? Ask to buy her so she could free her herself? Julia Dent went on to marry Ulysses S. Grant, an abolitionist, who went on to be one of the people without whom we might lost the Civil War, as well as a 2-term President of the United States. You can see why neither sets of their parents approved their union. Nevertheless, their love flourished and endured. Julia wasn't perfect, but she loved the man she called "Uliss".

No spoilers here, so I will not dwell upon Jule except to say she very much wanted her freedom and so did her husband, from whom she got separated because of the damnable institution of slavery.

I love Civil War era novels. They fill in my memory lapses of what I've learned about that terrible period of our nation's history. I highly recommend this book. 5 stars out of 5!
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- Connie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-03-2015
  • Publisher: Recorded Books