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Mary was born to southern slaveholders in Kentucky, moved to Illinois when she was 20 to live with her sister and met Abe at a cotillion. His opening line was "Miss Todd, I want to dance with you the worst way." Their relationship was odd, to say the least. Lincoln, as portrayed by Janis Cooke Newman, was sexually repressed and feared Mary's passion. She was in an almost constant state of trying to seduce him, usually without success. Despite his gawky, angular, unlovely looks, she adored him--even when she had an affair with another to defuse some of her heat. How much of the bedroom scene is fact and how much fancy must be left to the reader to decide, but it does give credence to Mary's very forward manner and her later "passionate" approach to shopping.
She used her shopping expeditions to accumulate things that would "protect" her family--and finally herself, when she felt her son Robert's growing disapproval of her. In his statement to the "insanity" lawyer, Robert said, "I have no doubt my mother is insane. She has long been a source of great anxiety to me. She has no home and no reason to make these purchases." Mary saw them as talismans against disaster, and she certainly had suffered disasters in abundance. She buried three sons and was holding her husband's hand when he was assassinated by a bullet to the head. Her eldest son, Robert, was a cold, unfeeling, haughty shell of a man to whom Mary did not speak after she was released from the asylum to her sister's care. She spent four years in Europe and, when her health failed, returned to her sister's house, where she received her son once before she died.
"First Lady" is a term that was coined to describe Mary Todd Lincoln, while she was the President's wife. It was meant as a backhanded compliment, because she was front and center during much of Lincoln's term. Presidential wives usually stuck to their knitting, but not Mary. Her unconventional ways did her husband a great deal of good; indeed, it was her ambition for him that finally ignited his own ambition. She also helped him to become a great orator. Ultimately, her "unsexed" manner contributed to her being judged insane in 1865 and committed to Bellevue Place, an asylum in Batavia, Illinois, outside Chicago. No President has been more praised nor any first lady more vilified than Abraham and Mary Lincoln. Janis Cooke Newman brings a time, a place and a person to life in a wholly believable and compelling manner. --Valerie Ryan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The book was supposedly a narrative penned by Mary Todd Lincoln. Obviously from the title the major real life events are documented but there seems to be a whole lot of speculation... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Mary Ann Ziegler
Mary Lincoln's lifetime of sorrow was bad enough without trying to wade through this book. Parts were very good but those were few & far between- I'd be hard pressed to recommend... Read morePublished 1 month ago by blywat
It was an interesting read. Although some of the liberties taken with actual historical events and people were a bit disconcerting, especially with the characters of Robert and... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Gail Winstanley
I am so disappointed but it's my own fault. I purchased the book based on recommendations from the 2 other purchases regarding Mary Todd Lincoln. Read morePublished 4 months ago by R. Real
Never knew much about Mary Lincoln but this helped me understand her and her difficulties. I feel now that she was totally misunderstood.Published 4 months ago by Maggie Pangman