Thursday, February 7, 2008

Abraham Lincoln - and Steven Spielberg

As you can see by my current book list on the right, I've been indulging my long interest in Abraham Lincoln. A few years ago, my husband and I took a trip to Springfield, IL, and stayed at a B&B just down the block from the Lincoln family home there. Our room overlooked the street and, in the early morning with no one around, you could look out and pretend that you were seeing the neighborhood as it was in those days - with fences to keep out stray animals around each restored house.

While we were there, we visited the marvelous Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. In a room designed for kid visitors, complete with a wall height chart to show how tall Lincoln was compared to his wife, etc., a curator gave me a list of selected Lincoln biographies (there are hundreds, maybe thousands) arranged in chronological order by publication date. So, the first one was by his law partner, Wm. Herndon, and written within a few decades of his death. I'm reading through the list and am now only on the third one - a lifetime project.

Meanwhile, Spielberg bought the film rights to Team of Rivals, a recent book on Lincoln by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, that tells how he incorporated many of the men who ran against him for president into his Cabinet, then got them to work together. Wouldn't that be interesting with this year's candidates!! Spielberg has cast one of my all-time favorite actors, Liam Neeson, as Lincoln - with rumors that Sally Field will play Mary Lincoln. Film production has been delayed until after the next Indiana Jones movie and may not be out until 2009 (sigh), but I will be first in line to see it!


  1. hey, share the list, why not? and sally field as mary lincoln? well, if mrs. lincoln was the nutcase some people say she was, that's great casting...i loved sally field in ER as that one young doctor's or nurse's alcoholic mother.

  2. Mary Todd Lincoln's commitment papers can be viewed at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library in West Branch, Iowa. So, if you're ever in that neighborhood, stop in and have a peek. It's not too far off the highway. I have forgotten what they put her in for, but she was pretty ill at one point. Poor dear.


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