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Courting Mr. Lincoln

A novel by

When Mary Todd meets Abraham Lincoln in Springfield in the winter of 1840, he is on no one's shortlist to be president. Rough and reticent, he's a country lawyer lacking money and manners, living above a dry goods shop, but with a gift for oratory. Mary, a quick, self-possessed debutante with a tireless interest in debates and elections, at first finds him an enigma. "I can only hope," she tells his roommate, the handsome, charming Joshua Speed, "that his waters being so very still, they also run deep." It's not long, though, before she sees the Lincoln that Speed knows: a man who, despite his awkwardness, is amiable and profound, with a gentle wit to match his genius and a respect for her keen political mind. But as her relationship with Lincoln deepens, she must confront his inseparable friendship with Speed, who has taught his roommate how to dance, dress, and navigate the polite society of Springfield. Told in the alternating voices of Mary Todd and Joshua Speed, and rich with historical detail, Courting Mr. Lincoln creates a sympathetic and complex portrait of Mary unlike any that has come before; a moving portrayal of the deep and very real connection between the two men; and most of all, an evocation of the unformed man who would grow into one of the nation's most beloved presidents.

Genre: Historical

Praise for this book

"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-nineteenth-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

"A miracle; an exquisite story exquisitely told 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

"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

"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

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Hardback Editions

May 2019 : USA Library Binding

Title: Courting Mr. Lincoln (Thorndike Press Large Print Core Series)
Author(s): Louis Bayard
ISBN: 1-4328-6511-0 / 978-1-4328-6511-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Thorndike Press Large Print
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

April 2019 : USA Hardback

Title: Courting Mr. Lincoln: A Novel
Author(s): Louis Bayard
ISBN: 1-61620-847-3 / 978-1-61620-847-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   

Audio Editions

April 2019 : USA Audio CD

Title: Courting Mr. Lincoln
Author(s): Louis Bayard
ISBN: 1-68457-166-9 / 978-1-68457-166-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: HighBridge Audio
Availability: Amazon   

Kindle Editions

April 2019 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Courting Mr. Lincoln: A Novel
Author(s): Louis Bayard
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU