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Extended Audio Sample The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage Audiobook, by Daniel Mark Epstein Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (220 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Daniel Mark Epstein Narrator: Adam Grupper Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2008 ISBN: 9781482974294
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Daniel Mark Epstein has produced an incisive and balanced portrait of the Lincolns, from their mysterious and troubled courtship in 1840 until his assassination in Ford’s Theatre in 1865. For the first time, in The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage we can feel the full force of the tragedy that was the slow crumbling of their marriage, knowing it intimately from the first act to the last.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “With a novelist’s feel for detail and drama, Daniel Mark Epstein portrays the Lincoln marriage with sensitivity and insight, painting an intimate portrait of a complex and consequential marriage. This work is a splendid addition to the Lincoln literature.” 

    Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian

  • “Will we ever tire of trying to understand this man? I doubt it, and in this impressive work, Daniel Mark Epstein approaches Lincoln through his complicated and revealing union with Mary Todd.”

    Ken Burns, Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker

  • “The Lincolns’ marriage has always been shrouded in mystery and sadness.  But in this fascinating biography by the peerless Epstein, the ties that bound them together are rendered with tender clarity. Beautifully written, impeccably researched, The Lincolns is destined to join the pantheon of indispensable books on the Civil War.” 

    Amanda Foreman, New York Times bestselling author of World on Fire

  • “[Epstein] is a poet by trade who moonlights in biography, having published lives of Nat King Cole and Aimee Semple McPherson. His account of the Lincolns’ marriage combines a poet’s sensitivity and imagination with a good historian’s rigor and fairness. He has in particular an eye for the shifting tides of status and the tensions they can create: He knows that the wooing of the well-born Mary by the rustic young lawyer Lincoln, no matter how impressive his prospects, entailed a decline in status for her and an advance for him—and a difficult burden for a young marriage to carry. Mr. Epstein’s gift for atmospheric detail cuts deep, too…Readers will be grateful for his modesty and for much else. He has written what may be the best Lincoln book in a generation.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “When one puts aside the stereotypes associated with the Lincolns, a rich and complex married life emerges…There is a lot that is new. First, this is the only book about the marriage that recounts the Springfield years (sixteen years out of twenty-two) in as much detail as the White House years…[and] there’s a lot more that is new.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Daniel Mark Epstein’s brilliantly conceived The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage is marked by meticulous scholarship and a balanced evaluation of the union that, until now, has confounded biographers and readers alike. The author, also a poet, has given us an insightful and lyrical narrative of the relationship between Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln that helped make him president.”

    Frank J. Williams, founding chair of The Lincoln Forum and a member of the US Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission

  • “Daniel Epstein in 2004 gave us the best book yet written on Abraham Lincoln and Walt Whitman. Now he has given us the best book yet written on the marriage of Abraham and Mary Lincoln—a comprehensive, sensitive, elegantly wrought masterpiece that puts us up close and personal with one of the most interesting pairings in American history.”

    John C. Waugh, author of One Man Great Enough: Abraham Lincoln’s Road to Civil War 

  • “[In] this reliable but familiar account of the Lincolns' frequently tempestuous marriage…what Epstein brings is a novelistic, almost lyrical touch.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “In this new Lincoln chronicle, Epstein concentrates exclusively on the relationship between this seemingly odd and mismatched power couple…This relationship biography reads like a nineteenth-century version of a Greek tragedy.”

    Booklist

  • “A dynamic picture of a marriage every bit as fractious and as buffeted as the nation the Lincolns served.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “In coolly objective tones, Adam Grupper narrates Epstein’s detailed account of the couple’s early years…Grupper’s nasal timbre is well suited to this work…[and] overall, his informative reading fits the text well.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie | 2/20/2014

    " This book offered great insight to Lincoln as a man as well as his marriage. I really liked this book a lot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Antonia | 2/12/2014

    " A fascinating story about the relationship between Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary. The story is captivating, particularly the decline of Mary's mental condition through the years. Note: this is truly a book about the Lincolns; Lincoln scholars will be disappointed that there is not more focus on historical events. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 1/28/2014

    " Unique glimpse into the marriage of the Lincolns. They were not the people I thought they were, but they had many of the same traits most marriages people have. Very engaging. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 1/27/2014

    " Fascinating and quite eye-opening. A very good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maureen Clarke | 1/22/2014

    " One of the best book on the Lincoln's that I have read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Harriet | 1/20/2014

    " This readable book focuses on the marriage of the Lincolns, ending with the assassination. It painted a well-rounded portrait of Mary Todd Lincoln, who was not just the shopaholic, grief-stricken figure we think of. Instead, we see someone who was well-educated, politically astute and more ambitious than her husband. Neither of them come across as very good parents and the sections on the relationship with their sons were rather heartbreaking. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marian | 1/7/2014

    " This seems like it will give the reader great insight into the Lincolns in their early years, preceding ascent to the White House. I've read several books about Lincoln and Mary Toddand and I think this will be a good addition. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lesley | 12/31/2013

    " Continuing my interest in historical marriages... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charlotte | 11/30/2013

    " This book is very informative about both mary and Abe but the book could have been edited better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Theresa | 11/28/2013

    " to be fair, another book i gave up on, so maybe it got better in the end -- but it had so much (uninteresting) detail it sucked the life out of the story. it became so tedious, i gave up and put the book down (and not in my "to be picked up later" pile). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abigail | 10/27/2013

    " Just finished. A fascinating, informative read. The ending was powerful and emotional. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz Donatelli | 9/27/2013

    " An in-depth look at the Lincoln & Mary dynamic. Fascinating! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bonnie | 3/22/2013

    " Mary Lincoln has has some bad press over the years and through this book I learned how much Abe and Mary were in love. Her love and support of him and his career are supported with rich detail of daily life, much of which was without him by her side. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 6/17/2012

    " Interesting but dry. Gave me some new ways to look at the history of the era "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 G. | 5/12/2012

    " Well written. A unique perspective. Makes you see how much the power behind the throne can help/or hinder a rise to power. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 9/3/2011

    " While this book shared details about both Lincolns I was not familiar with, the details I did know I found to sometimes not match. This made me suspect of all content. I also found some of the author's poetic license difficult to appreciate in a nonfiction piece. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scrumhalf | 12/10/2010

    " Done! Took me a long time to finish and although it was boring in some parts, other parts were unforgettable. Loved loved loved the last chapter. Recently been obsessed with Lincoln which probably helped me power through the slower sections. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scrumhalf | 12/2/2010

    " Done! Took me a long time to finish and although it was boring in some parts, other parts were unforgettable. Loved loved loved the last chapter. Recently been obsessed with Lincoln which probably helped me power through the slower sections. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen | 9/9/2010

    " Unique glimpse into the marriage of the Lincolns. They were not the people I thought they were, but they had many of the same traits most marriages people have. Very engaging. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 9/9/2009

    " Fascinating and quite eye-opening. A very good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Theresa | 8/16/2009

    " to be fair, another book i gave up on, so maybe it got better in the end -- but it had so much (uninteresting) detail it sucked the life out of the story. it became so tedious, i gave up and put the book down (and not in my "to be picked up later" pile). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patricia | 8/8/2009

    " This book made me even more of a Lincoln admirer. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristina | 7/19/2009

    " This bio of the Lincoln marriage
    but I got bored of it quickly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charlotte | 5/7/2009

    " This book is very informative about both mary and Abe but the book could have been edited better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marian | 3/16/2009

    " This seems like it will give the reader great insight into the Lincolns in their early years, preceding ascent to the White House. I've read several books about Lincoln and Mary Toddand and I think this will be a good addition. "

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About the Author

Daniel Mark Epstein has written more than fifteen books of poetry, biography, and history, including Lincoln and Whitman, which received an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and The Lincolns: Portrait of a Marriage, named one of the top ten books of 2008 by the Wall Street Journal and Chicago Sun-Times. He lives in Baltimore.

About the Narrator

Adam Grupper is a voice artist and actor. His audiobook narrations have earned six Earphones Awards and a nomination in 2008 for the prestigious Audie Award. His Broadway performances include Baz Luhrmann’s La Boheme, 45 Seconds from Broadway, The Wild Party, Guys and Dolls, among others. He has appeared in films such as Trophy Kids, Music & Lyrics, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, and Two Weeks’ Notice. On television, he has appeared in The Sopranos, Third Watch, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: SVU, Ugly Betty, and As the World Turns.