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“This is an important and definitive volume. As its title implies, not only is it a full-length portrait of Mary Todd Lincoln but, in reality, a double biography of Abraham and his hitherto misunderstood and much maligned wife.” Harry J. Carman, The American Historical Review
Many people in history have claimed that Abraham Lincoln never loved Mary Todd Lincoln, and that in fact his love was focused upon Anne Rutledge.
They have claimed that his wife hurt him politically though she drove him to the Presidency, that she embarrassed him financially as well as socially and inflicted on him the agony of adjustment to her psychopathic personality.
Yet, is there any truth to any of these claims?
Ruth Painter Randall’s brilliant biography of Mary and Abraham Lincoln sheds new light upon their marriage and dispels the myths that have surrounded it.
By using a huge quantity of material, including long-lost telegrams and letters, Randall has reconstructed what the marriage was truly like and provided a picture of Mary Lincoln without any prejudice or unsupported evidence.
This book rehabilitates the reputation of Mary Lincoln and deserves to be read by all those who wish to find the truth about the remarkable relationship between Mary and her husband and the impact that she made on him throughout his years in office.
“Never has such a story seemed better worth telling or better told.” Saturday Review
"Out of the most searching scrutiny ever leveled on the Lincolns' family affairs comes the picture of a tempestuous yet essentially happy marriage." New York Herald Tribune
"This is a very moving book. It is also a nice example of what a first-rate historian can do with a difficult subject." The New Yorker
"It is a book that can be recommended without reservation: A combination of profound research and fine prose style, it meets both the requirements of the Lincoln scholar and the casual reader who is looking for a truly fascinating story." San Francisco Chronicle
"A miracle of sound scholarship, graceful writing, and feminine understanding." Chicago Sunday Tribune
". . . documented fact far more absorbing than any fiction that has lately come my way." Christian Science Monitor
“A passionate defense of Mary Lincoln and a revelation conclusively documented of a marriage rooted in unremitting devotion and mutual love.” Kirkus Review
“a vivid portrayal of mid-nineteenth-century life in Illinois and at Washington, as it confronted a sensitive, warm-hearted, cultivated, ill-balanced personality eventually thrust into an environment beyond her powers of understanding or of self-control.” Jeannette P. Nichols, The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography
Ruth Painter Randall was an American biographer who focused upon the lives of the Lincoln family. Her other books include Lincoln's Sons
and Colonel Elmer Ellsworth: a biography of Lincoln's friend and first hero of the Civil War
. Mary Lincoln: Biography of a Marriage
was first published in 1953 and Randall passed away in 1971.