Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes : Formerly a Slave, but More Recently Modiste, and Friend to Mrs. Lincoln; or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House

3.79 (1,873 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Edited by 

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Written in a conversational, first-person narrative, it is the personal testimony of a woman who went from being a slave, to being the friend and confidante to Mary Todd Lincoln during the Civil War, to finally become a proprietor with more than twenty employees of her own, only to spend her last days in a home for the destitute. Possible Sleeper!show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 344 pages
  • 127.3 x 189.7 x 18.8mm | 317.52g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0252070208
  • 9780252070204
  • 2,057,286

Review quote

"Keckley provides a contrast between her life as a slave and her life as freed dressmaker. From her early years to her later friendship with Mary Todd Lincoln, Keckley's life is the pattern of a self-made woman as she buys her own freedom and becomes a friend to one of the most influential couples in history." -- Civil War "[Keckley's] unusual memoir offers a rare view of the formal and informal networks that African Americans established among themselves, as well as an intimate perspective of the Lincoln family... Heavily illustrated with eighty-six photographs." -- Documentary Editing "Lizzie Keckley in those Civil War years was privy to the most intimate conversations of the White House living quarters. You will never find a life of Abraham Lincoln in which her remembrances are not extensively quoted." -- Gene Smith, American Legacyshow more

Rating details

1,873 ratings
3.79 out of 5 stars
5 27% (504)
4 36% (670)
3 29% (535)
2 7% (137)
1 1% (27)
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