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. In the definitive, magisterial biography Mrs. Lincoln, noted historian Catherine Clinton draws on important new research to illuminate the remarkable life of Mary Lincoln, who lived at a time when the nation was being tested as never before. Her story is inextricably tied with the story of America and with her husband’s presidency, yet her life is an extraordinary chronicle on its own. She was the first presidential wife known as the “First Lady,” and it was in this role that she gained her lasting fame. But the assassination of her husband haunted her for the rest of her life. One of the most tragic and mysterious of 19th-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.
“We can never get enough of Lincoln, and we can never get enough of his family. Catherine Clinton’s fascinating book feeds that hunger.”— Ken Burns
“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. It is a triumph.”—Doris Kearns Goodwin
“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. Her Confederate relatives, free-spending shopping habits, mercurial personality, and fragile mental stability have provoked powerful crosscurrents of censure and defense. Catherine Clinton navigates these dangerous biographical waters with a firm hand on the tiller. With sensitivity and empathy, she brings us the real Mary Lincoln—a tragic yet compelling figure.”— James McPherson
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