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An engrossing novel about Mary Todd Lincoln — one of historys most misunderstood and enigmatic women. Writing from Bellevue asylum — where the shrieks of the other inmates keep her awake at night — a famous widow can finally share the story of her life in her own words. From her tempestuous childhood in a slave-holding Southern family through the opium-clouded years after her husbands death, we are let into the inner, intimate world of this brave and fascinating woman. Intelligent and unconventional — and, some thought, mad — she held spiritualist séances in the White House, ran her family into debt with compulsive shopping, negotiated with conniving politicians, and raised her young sons in the Nations Capital during the bloodiest war this country has ever known. She was also a political strategist, a comfort to wounded soldiers, a supporter of emancipation, the first to be called First Lady, and a wife and mother who survived the loss of three children and the assassination of her beloved husband. Interwoven with her memories of the past, she describes life in the asylum, where the treatment for lunacy is bland food, cold baths, and near-lethal doses of chloral hydrate. It is here where we meet her friends, the anorexic Minnie Judd, who is starving herself to win the affection of her beautiful husband; and Myra Bradwell, the suffragist lawyer who helps Mary win her freedom. A dramatic tale filled with passion and depression, poverty and ridicule, infidelity and redemption, this is the unforgettable story of Mary Todd Lincoln.

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September 18th, 2014
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