Mary Todd Lincoln
The personal correspondences of Mary Todd Lincoln create an intimate portrait of her life and marriage to Lincoln as well as her struggles after his death
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2 authors picked Mary Todd Lincoln as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
Mary Todd Lincoln has been seriously misunderstood by most observers (including her most recent biographer). She was in fact a smart, lively, well-educated woman whom Lincoln loved and to whom he was emotionally drawn. Her troubled personality led to some distance between her and her husband in the 1850s, and her post-assassination despair grew in large part from the unrelenting criticism she endured. This definitive collection of her letters, interspersed with excellent biographical information, contextualizes the documents in a highly readable volume. Mary Todd Lincoln deserves our close and sympathetic attention.
Without talking to someone in person, the next best thing we can do is to read his or her letters. This volume collects over 600 written by Mary Lincoln, spanning the time from her days as a marriageable young belle in the raw frontier capital of Springfield, Illinois, to her lonely final years, when she was plagued by grief and ill-health. We see Mary at her most imperious, her most vulnerable, her most charming—and always, at her most human. To me, one letter epitomizes Mary: that to a milliner in which Mary, all but prostrate from the recent death of…
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