By Stephen Harrigan
It is Illinois within the 1830s and 1840s. Abraham Lincoln is a circuit-riding attorney, a member of the country legislature, a guy of just about ungovernable ambition. To his pals he's additionally a loved determine, by way of turns charmingly awkward and mesmerizingly self-possessed—a guy of whom they, too, anticipate titanic issues. between his pals and political colleagues are Joshua velocity, William Herndon, Stephen Douglas, and so on who've come to the exploding frontier city of Springfield to discover their futures.
It is thru one other buddy, a fictional poet, Cage Weatherby, that we'll come to understand Lincoln in his twenties and thirties, as a sequence of formative, magnificent incidents unfolds—his carrier within the Black Hawk conflict, his participation in a poetry-writing society, a problem to a duel that starts as a farce yet fast rises to deadly power . . . Cage either admires and clashes with Lincoln, occasionally wondering his criminal ethics and his wary stance on slavery. yet he's by means of Lincoln’s aspect as Lincoln slips from side to side among excessive spirits and soul-hollowing disappointment and melancholy, and as he recovers from a disastrous courtship of 1 girl to marry the attractive, capricious, politically savvy Mary Todd. it really is Mary who will carry balance to Lincoln’s existence, yet who also will set off a clash that sends the 2 males on very various paths into the future.
Historically exact, wealthy in personality, full of the juice and goals and uncooked objectives of usa citizens at the make in an early frontier city, a chum of Mr. Lincoln is a revelatory and relocating portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in his younger manhood. it's a close-up, regarding event, this type of bright glimpse underneath the veneer of historical past that merely the superior fiction can provide.
From the Hardcover edition.
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A Friend of Mr. Lincoln: A novel by Stephen Harrigan