The Shadows Rise : Abraham Lincoln and the Ann Rutledge Legend
In recent decades the Ann Rutledge story has been treated as mythical rather than as an account of Abraham Lincoln's first but doomed love affair. What was once the central episode in his youthful emotional life has been forced to the margins of Lincoln scholarship, or beyond. In The Shadows Rise, the first book-length treatment of the subject, John Evangelist Walsh restores Ann Rutledge to her rightful place in the historical record. In 1945 the noted Lincoln scholar James G. Randall stated in his Lincoln biography that no real evidence existed to confirm Lincoln's love for Ann or the tales of his profound grief at her early death. Could it be that Lincoln's Illinois law partner, William Herndon, concocted the famous legend? It was in an 1866 lecture that Herndon himself first told the story of this tragic romance. During the past three years two scholars, John Y. Simon and Douglas Wilson, began the rehabilitation of Ann with a reexamination of Herndon's papers. Now, in The Shadows Rise, Walsh transcends and transforms recent research, re-creating the Lincoln-Rutledge story in all its dramatic fullness and depth. Along with new material and new interpretations he supplies some old-fashioned common sense. A highlight is his convincing reconstructions of Herndon's many interviews with Lincoln's New Salem friends, which go far toward exonerating him of the charge that he led his witnesses. Also of significance is Walsh's fresh examination of the Mary Owens affair, in which Lincoln's offer of marriage was refused.
- Hardback | 224 pages
- 149.86 x 220.98 x 25.4mm | 408.23g
- 01 Sep 1993
- University of Illinois Press
- Baltimore, United States
- Illustrations, facsims., ports.