Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker: The Unlikely Friendship of Elizabeth Keckley and Mary Todd Lincoln

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9781426303777: Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker: The Unlikely Friendship of Elizabeth Keckley and Mary Todd Lincoln

Few events can stir up a scandal more than an autobiography of a First Lady’s confidante. In 1868, a controversial tell-all called Behind the Scenes introduced readers to Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley. Mrs. Keckley was a former slave who had been Mary Todd Lincoln’s dressmaker and friend during the White House years, and in the aftermath of President Lincoln’s assassination. The book exposed Mary’s marriage and her erratic behavior, along with confidential opinions of many in high society. The airing of the Lincoln's "dirty laundry" meant humiliation for Mary and her family, and Elizabeth’s reputation was destroyed. This outcome would have been unimaginable in 1867, when Mary declared in a letter, "I consider you my best living friend." How could such a bond have developed between a woman born into slavery and the First Lady of the United States? Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker answers this question by chronicling the extraordinary lives of these women.

Readers will be fascinated by a tale of friendship and fate. The pair seem like polar opposites: Lizzie is calm, dignified, with a steely inner strength; Mrs. Lincoln is fragile, unstable and flighty. Yet both share a burning resolve to get what they want. Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker examines the strains on such a unique friendship, as it’s debated and parodied in newspapers. Lizzie must frequently leave her work to attend to the demands of Mrs. Lincoln. She offers constant support and companionship, particularly after the assassination of the President. In return, the dressmaker enjoys all the prestige and the popularity of those close to power.

Readers witness Elizabeth Keckley in her many roles: from fashion designer to abolitionist to caretaker. They follow her through the Civil War, the evils of slavery, and the many challenges faced alongside the First Lady. Handsome duotone illustrations include daguerreotypes, photos, paintings, and illustrations of the Lincoln's, Mrs. Keckley, and her masters. The book’s elegant design emphasizes period fashion and the art of dressmaking.

Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker tells the remarkable story of a forgotten figure whose influence ran deep and offers a revealing insight into an extraordinary relationship at the very heart of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency.

National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources.
Visit www.natgeoed.org/commoncore for more information.

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About the Author:

Lynda Jones is an award-winning author and a freelance writer, reporter, and editor. She has written a number of children's books, including Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker, selected as a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People 2010 by the National Council for the Social Studies and the Children's Book Council; and Kids Around the World Celebrate!: The Best Feasts and Festivals from Many Lands, winner of a Parents' Choice Award (2000). Jones served as a writer and editor at Scholastic Inc., Nickelodeon Magazine, and The Village Voice; her writing has appeared in a broad range of print and online publications, including National Geographic Kids, Essence, Time Out New York, and Teen.com, among others. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

From Booklist:

Although it’s difficult to find a fresh angle for a book in this year of Lincoln, Jones manages smartly with the story of Elizabeth Keckley, born into slavery, and her friendship with Mary Todd Lincoln. The book opens with the first meetings between Mary, the new first lady, in need of a seamstress, and Elizabeth, the experienced dressmaker. Things get off to a rough start, but Elizabeth has a talent not just for sewing, but for soothing Mary. In alternating chapters, Jones then introduces both women and contrasts their very different lives. Readers may be familiar with the ups and downs of Lincoln’s life, but details of Keckley’s story—the physical and sexual abuse she suffered, her efforts to buy herself out of slavery—will give them new insights into the life of a slave, in this case, one who was educated and had a profession. Because Keckley wrote an autobiography, Jones is able to draw on her own words, which are used effectively. The format, however, is rather dull, especially compared with the current crop of Lincoln books. A short bibliography and source notes are appended. Grades 6-9. --Ilene Cooper

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Lynda Jones
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Descripción National Geographic Society, United States, 2009. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Few events can stir up a scandal more than an autobiography of a First Lady s confidante. In 1868, a controversial tell-all called Behind the Scenes introduced readers to Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley. Mrs. Keckley was a former slave who had been Mary Todd Lincoln s dressmaker and friend during the White House years, and in the aftermath of President Lincoln s assassination. The book exposed Mary s marriage and her erratic behavior, along with confidential opinions of many in high society. The airing of the Lincoln s dirty laundry meant humiliation for Mary and her family, and Elizabeth s reputation was destroyed. This outcome would have been unimaginable in 1867, when Mary declared in a letter, I consider you my best living friend. How could such a bond have developed between a woman born into slavery and the First Lady of the United States? Mrs. Lincoln s Dressmaker answers this question by chronicling the extraordinary lives of these women. Readers will be fascinated by a tale of friendship and fate. The pair seem like polar opposites: Lizzie is calm, dignified, with a steely inner strength; Mrs. Lincoln is fragile, unstable and flighty. Yet both share a burning resolve to get what they want. Mrs. Lincoln s Dressmaker examines the strains on such a unique friendship, as it s debated and parodied in newspapers. Lizzie must frequently leave her work to attend to the demands of Mrs. Lincoln. She offers constant support and companionship, particularly after the assassination of the President. In return, the dressmaker enjoys all the prestige and the popularity of those close to power. Readers witness Elizabeth Keckley in her many roles: from fashion designer to abolitionist to caretaker. They follow her through the Civil War, the evils of slavery, and the many challenges faced alongside the First Lady. Handsome duotone illustrations include daguerreotypes, photos, paintings, and illustrations of the Lincoln s, Mrs. Keckley, and her masters. The book s elegant design emphasizes period fashion and the art of dressmaking. Mrs. Lincoln s Dressmaker tells the remarkable story of a forgotten figure whose influence ran deep and offers a revealing insight into an extraordinary relationship at the very heart of Abraham Lincoln s presidency. National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources. Visit for more information. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9781426303777

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Lynda Jones
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Descripción National Geographic Society, United States, 2009. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Few events can stir up a scandal more than an autobiography of a First Lady s confidante. In 1868, a controversial tell-all called Behind the Scenes introduced readers to Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley. Mrs. Keckley was a former slave who had been Mary Todd Lincoln s dressmaker and friend during the White House years, and in the aftermath of President Lincoln s assassination. The book exposed Mary s marriage and her erratic behavior, along with confidential opinions of many in high society. The airing of the Lincoln s dirty laundry meant humiliation for Mary and her family, and Elizabeth s reputation was destroyed. This outcome would have been unimaginable in 1867, when Mary declared in a letter, I consider you my best living friend. How could such a bond have developed between a woman born into slavery and the First Lady of the United States? Mrs. Lincoln s Dressmaker answers this question by chronicling the extraordinary lives of these women. Readers will be fascinated by a tale of friendship and fate. The pair seem like polar opposites: Lizzie is calm, dignified, with a steely inner strength; Mrs. Lincoln is fragile, unstable and flighty. Yet both share a burning resolve to get what they want. Mrs. Lincoln s Dressmaker examines the strains on such a unique friendship, as it s debated and parodied in newspapers. Lizzie must frequently leave her work to attend to the demands of Mrs. Lincoln. She offers constant support and companionship, particularly after the assassination of the President. In return, the dressmaker enjoys all the prestige and the popularity of those close to power. Readers witness Elizabeth Keckley in her many roles: from fashion designer to abolitionist to caretaker. They follow her through the Civil War, the evils of slavery, and the many challenges faced alongside the First Lady. Handsome duotone illustrations include daguerreotypes, photos, paintings, and illustrations of the Lincoln s, Mrs. Keckley, and her masters. The book s elegant design emphasizes period fashion and the art of dressmaking. Mrs. Lincoln s Dressmaker tells the remarkable story of a forgotten figure whose influence ran deep and offers a revealing insight into an extraordinary relationship at the very heart of Abraham Lincoln s presidency. National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources. Visit for more information. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9781426303777

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Jones, Lynda
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Descripción National Geographic Society, United States, 2009. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Few events can stir up a scandal more than an autobiography of a First Lady s confidante. In 1868, a controversial tell-all called Behind the Scenes introduced readers to Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley. Mrs. Keckley was a former slave who had been Mary Todd Lincoln s dressmaker and friend during the White House years, and in the aftermath of President Lincoln s assassination. The book exposed Mary s marriage and her erratic behavior, along with confidential opinions of many in high society. The airing of the Lincoln s dirty laundry meant humiliation for Mary and her family, and Elizabeth s reputation was destroyed. This outcome would have been unimaginable in 1867, when Mary declared in a letter, I consider you my best living friend. How could such a bond have developed between a woman born into slavery and the First Lady of the United States? Mrs. Lincoln s Dressmaker answers this question by chronicling the extraordinary lives of these women. Readers will be fascinated by a tale of friendship and fate. The pair seem like polar opposites: Lizzie is calm, dignified, with a steely inner strength; Mrs. Lincoln is fragile, unstable and flighty. Yet both share a burning resolve to get what they want. Mrs. Lincoln s Dressmaker examines the strains on such a unique friendship, as it s debated and parodied in newspapers. Lizzie must frequently leave her work to attend to the demands of Mrs. Lincoln. She offers constant support and companionship, particularly after the assassination of the President. In return, the dressmaker enjoys all the prestige and the popularity of those close to power. Readers witness Elizabeth Keckley in her many roles: from fashion designer to abolitionist to caretaker. They follow her through the Civil War, the evils of slavery, and the many challenges faced alongside the First Lady. Handsome duotone illustrations include daguerreotypes, photos, paintings, and illustrations of the Lincoln s, Mrs. Keckley, and her masters. The book s elegant design emphasizes period fashion and the art of dressmaking. Mrs. Lincoln s Dressmaker tells the remarkable story of a forgotten figure whose influence ran deep and offers a revealing insight into an extraordinary relationship at the very heart of Abraham Lincoln s presidency. National Geographic supports K-12 educators with ELA Common Core Resources. Visit for more information. Nº de ref. de la librería BZV9781426303777

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Descripción National Geographic Society 2009-01-13, 2009. Estado de conservación: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatched within 2 working days from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Nº de ref. de la librería NU-BNT-00330213

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Descripción National Geographic Society 2009-01-13, Washington, D.C., 2009. hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería 9781426303777

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Descripción National Geographic Society. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Nº de ref. de la librería B9781426303777

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