I know I've written a lot about Warren G. Harding lately, and as much as I'd like to mix things up, we actually have breaking news about him, so it needs to be discussed.
For nearly a century, mystery has surrounded Harding and the question of whether or not he fathered a child with Nan Britton, a woman who wrote a tell-all book about their supposed affair shortly after Harding died. Although many people doubted Britton's claims, the book did a great deal to tarnish Harding's reputation and helped brand him as a womanizer.
I also wrote a while ago about a book that examined love letters Harding wrote to his known mistress, Carrie Phillips. James Robenalt, the author of that book, did discuss Nan Britton's claims and came to the conclusion that her story probably was not true.
I wanted to judge for myself, so I read Britton's book shortly before I visited Harding's home in Ohio. I, too, came to the conclusion that Britton was probably lying although for some reason I kind of wanted to believe her.
When I visited Harding's home, I discussed the issue with my tour guide. He said that Elizabeth Ann (daughter of Nan Britton and allegedly Harding) didn't believe her mother's claims and said the two became estranged over it. He said that since there would probably never be DNA testing (family members didn't want to undergo it), we'd likely never know the answer. We both kind of shrugged, and I figured it would remain a mystery I could ruminate over for the rest of my life.
Now, though, it looks like the mystery has been solved, and with surprising results. Members of Harding's and Britton's families have undergone DNA testing, and the results show that, indeed, Elizabeth Ann was the daughter of Warren G. Harding.
I'm absolutely tingling with excitement (one of the few who is, I'm sure), although I'm a little sad the mystery is gone.
I had been planning to write about The President's Daughter at some point, and I still will, although this new knowledge will take the post in a different direction. (Update: Here's the review!)