Tuesday, April 14, 2015

In Memoriam: Elizabeth Brown Pryor

Today the sad news was announced that Elizabeth Brown Pryor, author of the Lincoln Prize-Winning Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee through his Private Letters, was killed in a tragic car accident in Richmond, Va.

I had the pleasure to meet Ms. Pryor on a few occasions, mainly when I worked at Arlington House, and she was always upbeat and kind, with a memorable smile.

She was a truly remarkable person – a State Department employee who stared down some of the world’s most despicable villains, a biographer of Clara Barton and Robert E. Lee, and a professor at the University of Richmond.

For the Civil War community, however, she will be remembered as the person who did more to refashion our image of Robert E. Lee than any other biographer in the past half-century.

It will take a long time for this loss to be truly felt and understood, but until then, reflect on a lecture by Ms. Pryor on her master work.

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