Mrs. Lincoln

Mrs. Lincoln : A Life

3.87 (813 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"This engaging, wonderfully written narrative provides fresh insight into this complex woman. It is a triumph." --Doris Kearns Goodwin

Catherine Clinton, author of the award-winning Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom, returns with Mrs. Lincoln, the first new biography in almost 20 years of Mary Todd Lincoln, one of the most enigmatic First Ladies in American history. Called "fascinating" by Ken Burns and "spirited and fast-paced" by the Boston Globe, Mrs. Lincoln is a meticulously researched and long overdue addition to the historical record. In the words of Pulitzer-Prize winning historian Joseph Ellis, Mrs. Lincoln "is distinctive for its abiding sanity, its deft and in-depth handling of the White House years, and for the consistent quality of its prose."
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Product details

  • Paperback | 727 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 50.8mm | 929.86g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Large type / large print
  • Large type / large print edition
  • Frontispiece; Illustrations, black and white
  • 0061719749
  • 9780061719745

Review quote

As wife and widow of America s greatest president, Mary Lincoln was the focus of cruel controversies in her lifetime and among historians ever since. With sensitivity and empathy, Catherine Clinton brings us the real Mary Lincoln a tragic yet compelling figure. --James McPherson"
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Back cover copy

Abraham Lincoln is the most revered president in American history, but the woman at the center of his life, his wife, Mary, has remained a historical enigma. In this definitive, magisterial biography, Catherine Clinton draws on important new research to illuminate the remarkable life of Mary Lincoln, and at a time when the nation was being tested as never before.

Mary Lincoln's story is inextricably tied with the story of America and with her husband's presidency, yet her life is an extraordinary chronicle on its own. Born into an aristocratic Kentucky family, she was an educated, well-connected Southern daughter, and when she married a Springfield lawyer she became a Northern wife--an experience mirrored by thousands of her countrywomen. The Lincolns endured many personal setbacks--including the death of a child and defeats in two U.S. Senate races--along the road to the White House. Mrs. Lincoln herself suffered scorching press attacks, but remained faithful to the Union and her wartime husband. She was also the first presidential wife known as the "First Lady," and it was in this role that she gained her lasting fame. The assassination of her husband haunted her for the rest of her life. Her disintegrating downward spiral resulted in a brief but traumatizing involuntary incarceration in an asylum and exile in Europe during her later years. One of the most tragic and mysterious of nineteenth-century figures, Mary Lincoln and her story symbolize the pain and loss of Civil War America.

Authoritative and utterly engrossing, Mrs. Lincoln is the long-awaited portrait of the woman who so richly contributed to Lincoln's life and legacy.
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Rating details

813 ratings
3.87 out of 5 stars
5 25% (206)
4 42% (344)
3 27% (220)
2 5% (38)
1 1% (5)
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