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Publisher's Summary

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 declared 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 pronouncements?

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 analyzing and cross-referencing a massive 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 audiobook rehabilitates the reputation of Mary Lincoln and deserves to be listen to 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.

Ruth Painter Randall was an American biographer and scholar who focused upon the lives of the Lincoln family. She published this first definitive biography of Mary Lincoln in 1953.

Public Domain (P)2019 Jewel Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

“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)

"A passionate defense of Mary Lincoln and a revelation — conclusively documented — of a marriage rooted in unremitting devotion and mutual love." (Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about Mary Lincoln

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Mary Lincoln

An honest discord on a woman who was much maligned by history. She has flaws to be sure but, she was not the woman depicted by such malice.

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Great story but...

I am a huge Mary Lincoln fan. I feel she was born way ahead of her time. I also have no doubt that she helped make A. Lincoln the great man he became. This is a very well written book and was one of the first published about this fascinating lady. Sadly there have been few since .
My complaint is not with the book, my problem is with the narrator. Why people insist on giving Mary a moonlight and magnolia accent is truly beyond me. Mary was from Kentucky, not Mississippi for heavens sake. Kentucky may not sound like Boston , but neither does it sound like Gone With The Wind. Rarely do narrators give Abraham Lincoln a nerve grating southern drawl, so why do they give Mary one? They were both from the same state! It is just an unneeded irritant to another wise ifascinating read.

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Hope enough people listen to this . . .

to wipe out William Herndon's slander and libel. The book was first published in 1953. I'm happy to say I have a first edition copy. Immediately following Abraham Lincoln's death, Herndon, his former law partner, came out with a biography of Lincoln. Unfortunately, their law partnership gave his book more credence than it deserved. He and Mary did not get along and he never set foot inside their home. How can you know about the lives of a man and wife if you're never in their presence in private?

Fortunately, Ruth Painter Randall has set the record straight and she did her homework, reading through documents and letters from Mary's lifetime. Anyone with any knowledge of Mary would know that she never referred to herself as Mary Todd Lincoln. She was Mrs. Lincoln, plain and simple.

If you mention her name today, someone who hasn't studied her life as I have will say something along the lines of "Wasn't she crazy?" She was a woman who may have had a depressive disorder at a time when there were no good remedies -- no prescriptions for reputable anti-depressants, and nobody with the benefit of today's knowledge of psychology and psychiatry. She was married to a man with his own depressive disorder whose job took him away from her for long periods of time early in their marriage. When he became president, she was vilified by the North for being from the South and held in contempt by the South for her allegiance to the Union. Add to this that she watched two young sons die from childhood diseases, then had her husband shot in the head while sitting next to her and holding her hand. By the time she lost Tad, how much sanity can she have had left?

Sorry for the soapbox. It happens all the time. Needless to say, I loved the book as narrated by Karen Commins. I followed along in the hardcover in the beginning and the audio book seems to be a faithful companion. If you read my review, please entertain the notion that previous biographers of Lincoln may have been unfair and untruthful about Mary. Try to put yourself in her shoes. I guarantee your heart will weep over the 150 years of injustice done to this woman who loved and was loved by a great man, and who bore and loved four sons, burying three of them.

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Mary Lincoln is a Historical Force

Wonderful book about Mary Todd Lincoln. Who knew she was an exceptional human being and force to be reckoned with. She and Abraham Lincoln were meant to be. Fate at its finest. Wonderful new facts about her and their lives. Mary Lincoln has come to life. Thank you so much. Loved this audio book.