Book group looks at America’s only foreign-born first lady

Based on David McCullough’s influential book John Adams, it could not have been easy to be a member of our second president’s family. And it certainly must not have been easy to marry into that family.

But that is just what Louisa Catherine Johnson did when she married John Quincy Adams. Born in England, she did not come to this country until she was married to Adams for four years. Together they traveled the world in service to a fledgling country, engaged in the rough and tumble of 19th-century politics, suffered the loss of two children, all the while holding fast to a tumultuous marriage.

All of this is deeply detailed in the book Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams, next month’s selection of Booked for Lunch, the history reading group of the Wilton Historical Society. The group will gather Friday, Sept. 23, from 12:30 to 2, at the museum complex at 224 Danbury Road to not only discuss the book but also talk with the author, Louisa Thomas, via Skype.

This is a first for the Booked for Lunch group, expected to add an interesting dimension to what is always a lively conversation. Thomas drew on a vast collection of letters, diaries, and memoirs to paint a portrait of the country’s only foreign-born first lady.

Participants may bring a brown bag lunch, the society provides a beverage and dessert. There is no charge, but participants are asked to register by calling 203-762-7257 or emailing