By Stephen Harrigan
The writer of the best-selling The Gates of the Alamo now supplies us a galvanizing portrait of Abraham Lincoln in the course of a crucially revealing interval of his existence, the early Springfield years, whilst he risked either his sanity and his moral bearings as he looked for the good future he believed to be his.
It is Illinois within the 1830s and 1840s. Abraham Lincoln is a circuit-riding legal professional, a member of the nation legislature, a guy of virtually ungovernable ambition. To his acquaintances he's additionally a loved determine, via turns charmingly awkward and mesmerizingly self-possessed—a guy of whom they, too, anticipate significant issues. between his pals and political colleagues are Joshua pace, William Herndon, Stephen Douglas, and so forth who've come to the exploding frontier city of Springfield to discover their futures.
It is thru one other pal, a fictional poet, Cage Weatherby, that we'll come to understand Lincoln in his twenties and thirties, as a chain of formative, unbelievable incidents unfolds—his carrier within the Black Hawk warfare, his participation in a poetry-writing society, a problem to a duel that starts off as a farce yet quick rises to deadly capability . . . Cage either admires and clashes with Lincoln, occasionally wondering his criminal ethics and his wary stance on slavery. yet he's via Lincoln’s aspect as Lincoln slips backward and forward among excessive spirits and soul-hollowing unhappiness and melancholy, and as he recovers from a disastrous courtship of 1 girl to marry the attractive, capricious, politically savvy Mary Todd. it's Mary who will deliver balance to Lincoln’s existence, yet who also will set off a clash that sends the 2 males on very assorted paths into the future.
Historically actual, wealthy in personality, full of the juice and desires and uncooked pursuits of usa citizens at the make in an early frontier urban, a pal of Mr. Lincoln is a revelatory and relocating portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in his younger manhood. it's a close-up, concerning adventure, this sort of shiny glimpse underneath the veneer of heritage that in simple terms some of the best fiction provides.
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Additional info for A Friend of Mr. Lincoln
The other females gathered close to the distressed one, comforting her with strokes and caresses. The younger cubs pulled away to the corners of the cave, wide-eyed. The adult males, awkwardly, kept away from the females—all save two of them, who began to dig a deep hole in the ground. When the hole was done, deep and straight-edged, Stripeskull clambered into the pit with the body of the female cub. The little one had been washed, her hair shaved and tidied. The grieving mother dropped dried flowers over the body, and Stripeskull sprinkled powdered ochre, a red mist that floated gently down into the pit.
He tried to recall what he had seen, how these objects had been shaped by the ingenuity of Stripeskull. But already the memory of that mysterious magic was slipping from his mind. Mammoths too could change the world: destroying trees, digging for water, clearing snow. But they would never learn to shape the things around them with the command of these strange, clumsy, upright Dreamers. The Dreamers put the stones to use in every corner of their cave. At the back of the cave hung the butchered carcasses of many animals—deer, reindeer, horse and bison—and their skins were stretched out to dry with stones and sticks.
Perhaps even the frequent cuffs about the head which Stripeskull delivered to Willow were like the mammoths' subtle code of touch and rubbing. But from the way Willow was rubbing his head it was obvious the blows were also meant to hurt. Lacking any alternative, exhausted, Longtusk stood in the cave mouth and awaited his fate. At last Willow came to him. He reached out to Longtusk's trunk, and pushed. Longtusk understood. He let himself be moved back out of the cave. He wasn't welcome here; it had only been a childish impulse of Willow's to bring him here in the first place.
A Friend of Mr. Lincoln by Stephen Harrigan