Lincoln's Ladies: The Women in the Life of the Sixteenth President

Overview

The tumultuous experiences Abraham Lincoln had with women have long been chronicled. Lincoln's Ladies attempts to answer the questions of how he was affected by the women in his life and how he affected them. Abandoned through death by his mother, his sister, and his sweetheart, Ann Rutledge, Lincoln found it difficult to relate to women and developed an emotional barrier that often antagonized them. Abstract and cool, he feared intimacy and marriage and, following Ann Rutledge's untimely death, was incapable of ...

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Overview

The tumultuous experiences Abraham Lincoln had with women have long been chronicled. Lincoln's Ladies attempts to answer the questions of how he was affected by the women in his life and how he affected them. Abandoned through death by his mother, his sister, and his sweetheart, Ann Rutledge, Lincoln found it difficult to relate to women and developed an emotional barrier that often antagonized them. Abstract and cool, he feared intimacy and marriage and, following Ann Rutledge's untimely death, was incapable of loving anyone the way he had loved her, probably the only woman with whom he shared a deep and wonderful love. Lincoln fumbled his way through other courtships and was turned down at least twice. He then stumbled into a strange relationship with Mary Todd—one culminated by marriage through her trickery and his sense of honor." Lincoln's marriage to her was his greatest tragedy, "a burning, scorching hell as terrible as death and as gloomy as the grave," said William Herndon, Lincoln's partner and biographer. According to H. Donald Winkler, Lincoln's emotions and motivations were shaped from a mixture of crippling and energizing experiences associated with women, experiences that profoundly affected his personal and professional lives. Lincoln's Ladies explores the impact of more than thirty women on his life. Not overlooked, however, are the positive impacts of women on Lincoln and he on them, especially his stepmother, who probably was the first person to treat him with respect and glimpse his potential."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781581824254
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,533,128
  • Product dimensions: 7.54 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

H. Donald Winkler
H. Donald Winkler is a professional journalist, historian, and retired university public-affairs executive. The recipient of 84 national awards, In 1991 he was cited by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education for "professional endeavors that have strengthened the entire fabric of American education."
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Startling New Insights

    This book is a revised and expanded version of The Women in Lincoln's Life, which received rave reviews in Civil War Times Illustrated, Civil War News, and numerous other publications. Criticism has come from a few readers who thought that Winkler was too kind to Ann Rutledge and too harsh on Mary Todd Lincoln. But other Lincoln scholars have supported Winkler's assertions. One of Mary Lincoln's closest friends, her dressmaker Elizabeth Keckley, noted in her memoir that Mary was "the most peculiarly constituted woman" she had ever known. Winkler points out these peculiarities, much to the dismay of the Mary Lincoln fan club, but, to his credit, he also talks about her good qualities and deeds and the strong role she played in advancing Lincoln's political career. Yet there were other women in Lincoln's life, and Winkler cites about thirty of them in this book. The chapters on his Quaker religious adviser and on the teenager who sculpted his statue for the U.S. Capitol are, in themselves, worthy of the price of the book. No other book covers Lincoln's relationships with women and the impact they had on him personally and professionally. And Winkler does this in a way that holds your attention and makes it difficult to put the book down. Winkler concludes, on the basis of extensive research, that it was the positive impact women had on Lincoln that helped form him--even though these relationships involved hardship, loss, rejection, and compromise. The women in his life provided a necessary grounding that balanced him and makes him more accessible to those of us who know him only through history. Read this book with an open mind. You will enjoy it, and you will begin to appreciate the feminine contribution to Lincoln's legacy.

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