ABOUT THIS BOOK
In this sweeping analytical bibliography, Jason Emerson goes beyond the few sources usually employed to contextualize Mary Lincoln’s life and thoroughly reexamines nearly every word ever written about her. In doing so, this book becomes the prime authority on Mary Lincoln, points researchers to key underused sources, reveals how views about her have evolved over the years, and sets the stage for new questions and debates about the themes and controversies that have defined her legacy.
Mary Lincoln for the Ages first articulates how reliance on limited sources has greatly restricted our understanding of the subject, evaluating their flaws and benefits and pointing out the shallowness of using the same texts to study her life. Emerson then presents more than four hundred bibliographical entries of nonfiction books and pamphlets, scholarly and popular articles, journalism, literature, and juvenilia. More than just listings of titles and publication dates, each entry includes Emerson’s deft analysis of these additional works on Mary Lincoln that should be used—but rarely have been—to better understand who she was during her life and why we see her as we do. The volume also includes rarely used illustrations, including some that have never before appeared in print.
A roadmap for a firmer, more complete grasp of Mary Lincoln’s place in the historical record, this is the first and only extensive, analytical bibliography of the subject. In highlighting hundreds of overlooked sources, Emerson changes the paradigm of Mary Lincoln’s legacy.