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My Thoughts Be Bloody: The Bitter Rivalry That Led to the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln Paperback – Bargain Price, May 31, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
In My Thoughts Be Bloody, the fascinating cast of characters who helped shape Edwin and John Wilkes' drives and ambitions are thoughtfully explored, beginning with their turbulent tragedian father, Junius Brutus Booth. This is the story of a family in turmoil, and it reads like a novel. Why did the two brothers compete with each other to the point of becoming bitter rivals leading to disaster? I believe this book persuasively answers that question and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the Booths, the Civil War, American history, or just a great story.
British actor Junius Brutus Booth fled London with his common-law wife, Mary Ann Holmes in the early 1830's for the United States, where his fame preceded him. He took to the life of the itinerant actor, all up and down the eastern seaboard, presenting the Shakespeare villains to theatre audiences who appreciated his acting. While Junius was on the road, Mary Ann was home, birthing and raising ten children in relative poverty. Of the four sons who reached adulthood, three were actors. Two, Junius Jr and John Wilkes were middling at best and were never overly successful, while son Edwin became the foremost actor and producer of his generation. Junius Sr died early, leaving Edwin, who had long accompanied his father on the road as an aide (mainly to try to keep him sober enough to take the stage) to claim the Booth mantle. And seize it he did, a true acting talent.
As with any family, fissures appear as personalities begin to show themselves. Having received the lion share of the acting talent, Edwin was not above belittling his brothers while supporting the family monetarily. For oldest brother "June", his mediocrity didn't seem to bother him; he made a living and a life for himself. However, younger brother John Wilkes had inherited his father's looks without inheriting his talent, and he was on the edges of the acting profession. He resented Edwin his success, without knowing or acknowledging the long years of preparation Edwin had put in while his father's understudy.Read more ›
Any book about Edwin and John Wilkes Booth must begin with their father. Junius Brutus Booth was one of the best Shakespearian actors in Britain, and his life had more high-drama than any play in which he starred. In 1821, he left behind a wife and young son to travel to America with his pregnant mistress. He settled down on a farm in Maryland, where he and mistress, Mary Ann Holmes, produced ten children. Junius took to drink, which made him erratic and undependable when touring. With so many children to care for, Mary Ann sent 12-year-old Edwin to serve as caretaker for his father. At the same time, Edwin learned his father's craft from the master. By the time Edwin was 17, he replaced his father playing Richard III and the torch was passed.
Meanwhile, while Edwin was on the road, John Wilkes remained at home where he was pampered and spoiled by his mother. As a teenager, John Wilkes made the decision to become an actor. Although he had no formal training, he had rugged good looks. Edwin was well established as an actor by this time, so he set the ground rules for his younger brother. "Edwin split the map of the United States in two, practically along the Mason-Dixon Line as it turned out, though his intentions had everything to do with business and not politics. Each brother, Edwin said, would claim one region in which to practice his profession, with the understanding that neither would cross into the other's territory.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was wonderful. Very well written and researched and a fascinating look into the life of the Booth family.Published 9 days ago by denise gibbons
Excellent book!! I purchased a used book for a great price. Win/win!! ThanksPublished 4 months ago by Deena P. Millett
Fascinating. YOu ideas about the Wilkes family will be forever changed. And the role of women at that time in society an eye opener.Published 9 months ago by otterdoc
Very well written book that is essentially a family biography of the Booth family with emphasis on the contrast between the famous actor Edwin Booth and his infamous brother, John... Read morePublished 11 months ago by T. Medley
I am still reading this book and I think it is awesome. I have learned so much about the family and all the History is amazing. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Evie
Great book!!! Enjoyable read with lots of fascinating history on the Booth family. Worth the read.Published 12 months ago by Robert
Great book on the topic of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Wonderful insight into the family and what brought about the effects on John Wilkes Booth.Published 14 months ago by Ted R. Poli