Happy Birthday, President Lincoln!

Since today is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday I wanted to bring to your attention a wonderful historical novel. I can’t recommend this enough!

About the Author: 

Louis Bayard is a New York Times Notable Book author and has been shortlisted for both the Edgar and Dagger awards for his historical thrillers, which include The Pale Blue Eye and Mr. Timothy. His most recent novel was the critically acclaimed young-adult title Lucky Strikes. He lives in Washington, DC, and teaches at George Washington University. Visit him online at www.louisbayard.com.

Praise for COURTING MR. LINCOLN

By Louis Bayard

AN INDIE NEXT PICK

AN APPLE BOOKS BEST BOOK OF THE MONTH  

PEOPLE MAGAZINE BEST BOOK OF THE WEEK 

“An exquisite historical reimagining of a love acknowledged—and a longing denied.”

People (Book of the Week)

“Bayard has written eight other novels, and he’s extraordinarily gifted at blending provocative fiction with history. The details of [Mary Todd and Lincoln’s] courtship are lovely to read, but Lincoln’s time with Speed is much more riveting. At book’s end, who’s courting Lincoln remains an enticing mystery.”

Washington Post

“A house divided against itself cannot stand, Abraham Lincoln warned us. But a book divided against itself stands up quite nicely in Louis Bayard’s wonderful Courting Mr. Lincoln. …suspenseful and revealing…it’s a tribute to Bayard’s entertaining novel that he has imagined a love story for Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln that embroiders the truth but that also fits perfectly with what we know about these very famous figures.”

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“A miracle; an exquisite story exquisitely told. This glorious novel, big-hearted and clear-eyed, features the most uncanny incarnation of our sixteenth president since Daniel Day-Lewis strode onscreen in Lincoln. If you love Jane Austen, or Hamilton, or fiction—of any era—that transports and transforms in equal measure, look no further.”

—A.J. Finn, bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

Courting Mr. Lincoln is a fascinating (and partly fictional) exploration of not only the 16th president, but those enamored by him.”

Advocate.com

“A rich, fascinating and romantic union of fact and imagination about young Lincoln, the woman he would marry and his beloved best friend. Bayard’s compelling take on this question is not academic, nor is it a polemic; Courting Mr. Lincoln is intimate, warm and, above all, compassionate. Bayard is concerned with the possibilities of the human heart, and he presents an enigmatic Lincoln seen — and loved — from two other points of a romantic triangle. …the greatest triumph of Courting Mr. Lincoln is how effectively Bayard creates suspense, even when we know how the story ends. Love is love is love, after all, and he invests us deeply in the moving journey of three extraordinary people.”

Newsday

“With wit and charm that only Louis Bayard can deliver, Courting Mr. Lincoln transports readers to 19th-century Springfield, Ill…Those familiar with Bayard’s work will appreciate his sterling dialogue and ingenious humor. Bayard’s masterful command of language enchants and thrills; his meticulous, almost otherworldly, understanding of his historical subject awes and inspires. When that all comes together, Courting Mr. Lincoln is Bayard at his absolute best. He offers more reasons to love one of the most admired presidents in U.S. history and proves yet again why he himself is one of the nation’s greatest literary gems.”

Shelf Awareness (Starred Review)

“A wildly clever imagining of Honest Abe’s complicated personal life. In Courting Mr. Lincoln, Louis Bayard, an accomplished historical novelist, breathes life into the massive cultural icon whom we know so well, but really don’t have much of a clue about. Read the book. You’ll thank me.”

Washington Independent Review of Books

“…thoroughly researched and thrillingly plotted…Filled with rich historical detail and compulsively readable… Fans of historical fiction will be up late into the night to uncover the next chapter of this fascinating time in history.”

NY Journal of Books

A gripping historical thriller … an entertaining novel by a gifted storyteller.”

The Washington Book Review

“[An] acute and passionate portrait…[I]n Bayard’s skilled hands, three complicated people groping toward a new phase in their lives is all the plot you need.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Bayard does an exceptional job of keeping readers engrossed as he weaves fact and fiction in this intriguing tale of intimacy between Lincoln and his two closest confidantes.”

BookPage

“ What Bayard has accomplished is to take popular figures in U.S. history and not only make them more real — if that is possible — but humanize them to a level where we all can relate to them. Courting Mr. Lincoln is engaging because Bayard has such a fine way with words. The result is a triumph of a novel and an unforgettable read that is a true page turner.”

Bookreporter.com

“Was Abraham Lincoln gay? The question, not a new one, is delicately and touchingly presented in Courting Mr. Lincoln … tenderly told.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“An exquisite novel about how Lincoln’s courtship of the brilliant, complicated Mary Todd intersected with his long and very (possibly VERY) close friendship with Joshua Speed. Courting Mr. Lincoln is so subtle and human and heartbreaking, infused with sly wit. I loved every word of it, and the end is note perfect. My heart broke for both Joshua and Mary, and at the same time, they were the lenses that let me think about my favorite president in new ways.” 

Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of Never Have I Ever

“[W]ith a richly imagined setting and complex characters…a worthy addition to the fiction about-Lincoln bookshelf.”

Booklist

“Bayard fictionalizes the early days of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln’s relationship in this delightful embellishment of American history. This charming love story delicately reveals the emotional roller coaster of two inexperienced adults traversing the unknown realm of love while trying to meet the demands and expectations of society.”

Publishers Weekly

“In this sparkling tale of strategy and desire, Louis Bayard renders the origin story of the Lincoln-Todd marriage with a wit worthy of Jane Austen and the keen political insight of the best presidential biographers. When it comes to bringing our most revered historical figures to vivid life—and returning to them their full humanity—Louis Bayard has no peer. He is, quite simply, a master of the storytelling art.”

—Liza Mundy, bestselling author of Code Girls

“In exquisite detail and luminous prose, Louis Bayard has taken what might have been a footnote in the history of Abraham Lincoln and made it the story.  It is as if there was a secret door in Lincoln’s life and Bayard has opened it and walked inside. Suddenly all the pieces fit. Utterly fascinating and brilliantly convincing, this is a terrific book that people will be talking about for a long time.”

—Mary Morris, author of Gateway to the Moon

“Superb, witty, gorgeously written. For the length of this dazzling, subversive novel, I was plunged so deeply into the sitting rooms and muddy streets of mid-19th-century Springfield, Illinois, that I too had fallen in love with and had my heart broken by the awkward, young lawyer from Kentucky. Courting Mr. Lincoln is an essential read: it makes the past a human place.”

—Christopher Bollen, author of The Destroyers

Courting Mr. Lincoln gives us a young Abe Lincoln as we’ve never imagined him. It’s a moving portrait, told with cutting wit and intimately drawn detail, of three friends struggling to find their own identities against the weight of social expectations.”

—Thomas Mullen, author of Darktown and Lightning Men

“Louis Bayard is a writer of remarkable gifts: for language, for imagination, for that mysterious admixture of audacity and craftsmanship.”

—Joyce Carol Oates

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