Courting Mr. Lincoln

Courting Mr. Lincoln

A Novel

Book - 2019 | First edition
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When Mary Todd meets Abraham Lincoln in Springfield in the winter of 1840, he is on no one's short list to be president. Rough and reticent, he's a country lawyer lacking money and manners, living above a dry goods shop, but with a gift for oratory. Mary, a quick, self-possessed debutante with a tireless interest in debates and elections, at first finds him an enigma. "I can only hope," she tells his roommate, the handsome, charming Joshua Speed, "that his waters being so very still, they also run deep." It's not long, though, before she sees the Lincoln that Speed knows: a man who, despite his awkwardness, is amiable and profound, with a gentle wit to match his genius and a respect for her keen political mind. But as her relationship with Lincoln deepens, she must confront his inseparable friendship with Speed, who has taught his roommate how to dance, dress, and navigate the polite society of Springfield. Told in the alternating voices of Mary Todd and Joshua Speed, and rich with historical detail, Courting Mr. Lincoln creates a sympathetic and complex portrait of Mary unlike any that has come before; a moving portrayal of the deep and very real connection between the two men; and most of all, an evocation of the unformed man who would grow into one of the nation's most beloved presidents.
Publisher: Chapel Hill, North Carolina :, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill,, 2019
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781616208479
Branch Call Number: F BAY
Characteristics: 379 pages ; 24 cm
Alternative Title: Courting Mister Lincoln


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Jan 05, 2020

I will grant that this is a well-researched and very well-written book. But to be honest, I couldn’t manage any sympathy for the three main characters. They are all of them selfish and thoughtless of those they profess to care about or even love. Be aware that this is not a romance and you shouldn’t go in expecting genre-obligatory elements like protagonists willing to sacrifice their own happiness for the sake of the ones they love, or a HEA/HFN or that fundamental element of *hope*.

Dec 01, 2019

Fascinating view of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln, with much about Lincoln's friendship with Joshua Speed, very worth-while read.

DCLadults Jun 25, 2019

A New & Noteworthy pick. There’s more to the Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln story. Enter Joshua Speed, Lincoln’s roommate and mentor. Inspired by historical events, here is an early and complex picture of a young Abraham Lincoln told by his closest friends.

Apr 14, 2019

Abraham Lincoln is a giant in American history. This book gives us the opportunity to examine the man early in his legislative and law career through the eyes of Mary Todd and Joshua Speed. Both of them loved Abe and were anxious for him to be successful. Unfortunately the two seemed unable to share Abraham's good will. Throughout the story, the advantage seems to seesaw back and forth until the Todd/Lincoln wedding occurs in late 1842. After that we get two glimpses of their future -- one from each. Proverbs 27:17 says, "Iron sharpens iron and one man sharpens another." In His divine providence, God used Joshua Speed to give Lincoln the polish needed to court Mary Todd. Then He used Mary Todd to hone Lincoln's political instincts. Thus our nation was blessed to have Lincoln in the White House when we needed him. I believe this book will most definitely give modern readers a better understanding of Mary Todd and the forces she was subjected to by history. Quite enlightening!

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