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Books  >>  Biography

Catherine Clinton

Mrs. Lincoln

Catherine Clinton Mrs. Lincoln A Life
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Main description:

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. 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.

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.”

Review quote:

“Clinton’s careful research and thoughtful presentation result in the best treatment of the troubled life of Mary Lincoln in recent memory. . . . Mary was, and continues to be, controversial, but, as Clinton submits, she remains a figure of great color, worthy of continued interest.”

Review quote:

“Clinton’s portrait 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.”

Review quote:

“In this remarkable book, Catherine Clinton displays an emotional depth in her understanding of Mary Lincoln that has rarely been revealed in the Lincoln literature. This engaging, wonderfully written narrative provides fresh insight into this complex woman whose intelligence and loving capacities were continually beset by insecurities.”

Review quote:

“Noted historian Catherine Clinton manages to enlighten readers, confirm some well-documented stories, question others and offer additional insights into one of the most complicated fist ladies in American history. . . . Clinton has allowed history to make a more fair-minded appraisal of Mary Lincoln’s life.”

Review quote:

“Our most controversial first lady, Mary Lincoln was reviled by her critics and few historians have treated her kindly. Lively and entertaining, Mrs. Lincoln will cause readers to rethink the stereotypes about Mary—and perhaps to question some of their beliefs about her husband as well.”

Review quote:

“We can never get enough of Lincoln, and we can never get enough of his family. Catherine Clinton’s fascinating book feeds that hunger.”

Short description/annotation:

“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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