Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Love Is Eternal, Irving Stone, Doubleday & Company Inc, 1954, 462 pp

Back when I was reading the books of 1954 for My Big Fat Reading Project, I missed this one. (For more info on the project, click on the label at the end of this post and go to the earliest dated post with that label.) Love Is Eternal was the #3 bestseller in 1954 and is a fictional account of the marriage of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd. It was timely reading it this year with all the other Lincoln books that came out.

It was not a fast read but though it was mostly from Mary Todd's point of view, I learned more about Abraham Lincoln than I ever knew. He had a tendency toward depression, had zero social skills or aspirations, but was highly intelligent and self taught as a lawyer. It was Mary, with her patrician background in Virginia and her anti-slavery beliefs, who focused Lincoln towards political success.

They had a hard life. She lost two children, spent months alone while Abraham rode the circuit judge routes, faced all the heartbreak of being turned against by her Virginia relatives because of the secession and together with President Lincoln faced the terrible years of the Civil War. Mary had her own bouts of depression due to loss and loneliness. And what did she get for all her perseverance and faithfulness? A dead husband, widowhood and revilement.

Life was hard for me while I was reading this book but it was nothing compared to Mary Lincoln's life.

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