The Printer's Kiss: The Life and Letters of a Civil War Newspaperman and His Family (Civil War in the North) Hardcover – July 25, 2014
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During his career, Tomlinson published ten newspapers in Ohio and one in Iowa, where he lived from 1854 to 1860. Described by his contemporaries as brilliant and erratic, coarse and literary, Tomlinson left a trail of ink covering topics ranging from antislavery sentiment to spiritualist fervor and partisan politics. His personal writings reveal the man behind the press, disappointed by his weakness for alcohol and by Eliza's refusal to condone his plan to raise a Negro company. His eloquent descriptions ache with the discomfort of standing fourteen hours at a compositor's table, shooting cattle to feed soldiers, and having to defend himself against accusations of adultery. Tomlinson was fatally shot by a Kentucky Copperhead in 1863.
Eliza's letters pulse with the fears of a Union family on the lookout for slave hunters, Morgan's Raiders, and bad news from the battlefield. Like her husband, she freely condemns inept politicians and southern rebels. She also questions her husband's military competence, but she usually writes about domestic matters - the children, friends, and finances.
The intimate details in these letters will engage readers with suspenseful accounts of survival in the borderlands during the Civil War, camp life, and guerrilla warfare and commentary on political and military events, journalism in the mid-1800s, and the roles of women and children. Most importantly, readers will be exposed to the story of how one articulate and loyal Union family refused to give up hope when faced with tragic disruption.
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About the Author
- Publisher : The Kent State University Press; First Edition (July 25, 2014)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 328 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1606352164
- ISBN-13 : 978-1606352168
- Item Weight : 1.4 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.15 x 0.83 x 9.83 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,285,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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I found myself reading Pat Donohoe's "The Printer's Kiss" about the same time as David McCullough's "John Adams," both works made possible because family letters were consciously preserved for posterity.
Will and Eliza Tomlinson's cursive scripts to each other highlights their embrace of the Union cause and the challenges of raising a family as the country tore itself asunder.
A testament to roaring silence is a thirteen page letter where the first eight pages had vanished, their absence as palpable as the eighteen minutes of silence in the Nixon Watergate tapes.
The narrative is expertly crafted by the author and makes the Tomlinson's lives, passions and demons into a movie, capturing a time when the fate of the United States of America was not yet known.
Donohoe has gifted us and future readers with a vivid document of her ancestor's living, caring and dying, in war, forever changed.