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Download The Madness of Mary Lincoln Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Madness of Mary Lincoln (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Jason Emerson
3.74 out of 53.74 out of 53.74 out of 53.74 out of 53.74 out of 5 3.74 (19 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jason Emerson Narrator: Steven Roy Grimsley Publisher: University Press Audiobooks Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2012 ISBN:
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In 2005, historian Jason Emerson discovered a steamer trunk formerly owned by Robert Todd Lincoln's lawyer and stowed in an attic for 40 years. The trunk contained a rare find: 25 letters pertaining to Mary Todd Lincoln's life and insanity case, letters assumed long destroyed by the Lincoln family. Mary wrote 20 of the letters herself, more than half from the insane asylum to which her son Robert had her committed, and many in the months and years after.

The Madness of Mary Lincoln is the first examination of Mary Lincoln's mental illness based on the lost letters, and the first new interpretation of the insanity case in 20 years. This compelling story of the purported insanity of one of America's most tragic first ladies provides new and previously unpublished materials, including the psychiatric diagnosis of Mary's mental illness and her lost will.

Emerson charts Mary Lincoln's mental illness throughout her life and describes how a predisposition to psychiatric illness and a life of mental and emotional trauma led to her commitment to the asylum. The first to state unequivocally that Mary Lincoln suffered from bipolar disorder, Emerson offers a psychiatric perspective on the insanity case based on consultations with psychiatrist experts.

This book reveals Abraham Lincoln's understanding of his wife's mental illness and the degree to which he helped keep her stable. It also traces Mary's life after her husband's assassination, including her severe depression and physical ailments, the harsh public criticism she endured, the Old Clothes Scandal, and the death of her son Tad.

The Madness of Mary Lincoln is the story not only of Mary, but also of Robert. It details how he dealt with his mother's increasing irrationality and why it embarrassed his Victorian sensibilities; it explains the reasons he had his mother committed, his response to her suicide attempt, and her plot to murder him. It also shows why and how he ultim... Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dana ****Reads Alot**** | 2/17/2014

    " I thought this book was very interesting to read. I really felt bad for Mary she had suffered many losses in life. The death of her mother, her own child, then her husband and then her other son had taken ill and passed as well. I think I would go alittle mad myself. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kimberly | 2/12/2014

    " I was riveted by this book! Emerson makes a very convincing argument that Mary was crazy, both before and after her years in the White House. Although this is non-fiction, the story is so exciting and interesting, that it reads like fiction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie Stelmachlaurie | 2/12/2014

    " Mary Lincoln has been unjustly criticized over time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rickyjez | 2/11/2014

    " Check out my review on Amazon "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ed Brown | 2/6/2014

    " I read Emerson's well written, detailed and fair minded account of the incarceration of Mary Lincoln after reading a fine biography of her. It confirmed two things for me. First the narrative of a whole life is more interesting than a narrowly focused chronicle of someone's idiosyncrasies. And second, that giving a twentieth century psychiatric diagnosis to a nineteenth century person is a pointless exercise. That Mary Lincoln was an odd duck cannot be doubted. Putting this odd duck in a larger historical context allows for an fascinating view of her and her world, an ecological perspective you might say. Focusing down on her insanity becomes tedious, like reading a legal brief. Perhaps the most interesting part of this book is the story of Emerson's discovery Mary's lost letters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane Heath | 2/3/2014

    " This is by the author of Giant in The Shadows (Story of Robert T Lincoln). He(Emerson) discusses the possibility that Mary was BiPolar...The discovery of the remaining letters (and the destruction of so many others) is also of interest to those who want to know more of the Lincoln's "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dawn Mateo | 1/28/2014

    " Very well written and informative book. I like the fact that the author incorperated so many facts and quotes from MTL and the people she corrosponded with. The notes in the back were actually fascinating. I also enjoyed how the author seemed to interact with the reader by posing questions. Was she insane? No, I don't think so. Did she have mental issues? Oh hell yeah. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danielle Blasko | 1/22/2014

    " Well-researched, well-written! Emerson certainly had an agenda to redeem Robert Lincoln, which concerned me at first as I thought he would ultimately have to villainize Mary Lincoln to make his case. He might have easily fallen into that old trap of portraying women as hysterical creatures. However, Emerson's treatment of this highly difficult subject is tactful, and the argument he presents is not only convincing but clearly supported. The reader is forced to look at the Mary Lincoln "institutionalization episode" within its proper historical context. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pilar | 1/11/2014

    " it was an awesome book, very interesting stuff... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jill Crosby | 1/5/2014

    " Awful. Dry & impersonal. More like a dissertation than an analysis of a fascinating historic figure. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Cheathem | 12/13/2013

    " Decent book. Sheds some new insight on the "Insanity Episode." Probably didn't warrant a new book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauriann | 12/6/2013

    " I found this book interesting because I had just visited Hildene, the home of Robert Lincoln and saw the safe where the insanity files had been kept. The telling of incidents suggesting madness were somewhat redundant in this book, however. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol Ann Carter | 11/1/2013

    " The author appears to slip "opinions" in the text as "fact." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer Goldberg | 10/10/2013

    " Excellent,factual account of how/why Robert Todd Lincoln had his mother committed to an ansylum in Batavia, IL (I live nearby,building still exists,subdivided into apts. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mnuz | 5/22/2013

    " Amazing and hard to put down. I heard this book in two days and was riveted the whole time. The author provides a full perspective on the time period and subjects. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 deede | 5/21/2013

    " Another great book about the Lincoln era. Poor Robert Lincoln, like many children of mentally ill parents, put up with so much but was vilified for trying to do right by his poor, sick mother. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Theresa | 3/13/2013

    " I learned a lot about Mary Todd Lincoln, how her relationship with Abraham was, the impact of her illness on her public image, and how her illness manifested itself. It held my interest for most of the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 12/14/2012

    " I love crazies "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allysmom | 12/13/2012

    " The title is self- explanatory. "

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