If we can’t walk together, we can read together

We miss touring with everyone around Old Town, Alexandria. Until we can get together and talk history once more, we compiled a quarantine reading list for your enjoyment based on suggestions from our fantastic guides.


If you have any books to add to the list, send them our way via email (discoveralexandria@gmail.com), through our website https://discoveralexva.com/contact/, or our social media pages: Facebook https://www.facebook.com/discoveralexva/, twitter https://twitter.com/DiscoverAlexVA, Instagram username discoveralexandria.


We look forward to hearing from you soon and checking out your great book suggestions.


Ashley’s recommendation:

A Civil Life in an Uncivil Time: Julia Wilbur’s Struggle for Purpose by Paula Tarnapol Whitacre

Ashley talks about Julia Wilbur on the Women of Civil War Alexandria tour that is offered in partnership with the National Women’s History Museum. Julia Wilbur is an inspiration for what a really dedicated woman can do in a time of crisis.


Kieran’s recommendations:

George Washington: The Wonder of the Age by John Rhodehamel

Kieran mentions that this book is a strong and concise biography, unlike others which are 500+ pages long. Rhodehamel does a particularly good job at detailing Washington as a young man, which is sometimes glossed over compared to his later life.

He also suggests:

Planting an Empire: The Early Chesapeake in British North America by Jean R. Russo and J. Elliot Russo.


Andy’s recommendation:

Hidden History of Alexandria D.C.  by Michael Lee Pope

Andy moved to Alexandria with no idea that the city was once part of the District of Columbia. He enjoys this book because it shed light on a largely overlooked period of Alexandria’s nineteenth-century history.


If you are out walking alone, here are a couple of books that can serve as your guide:

A Guide to Historic Alexandria by William Seale

In addition to a lot of great photos and context, Seale’s book provides a couple special tour maps. The review mentions how the book “opens the doors to Revolutionary and Civil War period houses, shops, markets, forts, and walled gardens that have prevailed through many generations in one of the nation’s most appealing early towns.”

Walking with Washington by Robert L. Madison 

Because George Washington spent so much time in Alexandria, Walking with Washington gives a neighborhood-by-neighborhood account of some of his favorite spots. You will be surprise what you discover in this book.


As mentioned earlier, please send us any other suggestions you have and we’ll publish them in a follow-up blog post.

Stay healthy and safe! We miss you!

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