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Paperback Behind the Scenes : Or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House Book

ISBN: 1611043530

ISBN13: 9781611043532

Behind the Scenes : Or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Elizabeth Keckley (1818-1907) was a former slave turned successful seamstress who is most notably known as being Mary Todd Lincoln's personal modiste and confidante, and the author of her autobiography, Behind the Scenes Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House. Mrs. Keckly utilized her intelligence, keen business savvy, and sewing and design skills to arrange and ultimately buy her freedom (and that of her son George as well), and...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Behind the Scenes: or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House (Penguin Classics)

This book was wonderful! I read it straight through on a recent trip. Hated to put it down. Very, very interesting to see another side of some great historic happenings. I felt as if I were a there, watching and developed a better understanding of several historic events. I think everyone should read it. As a background for American histroy. I am buying another copy for my daughter, as I do not want to part with mine.

Friend and confidant to Mary Lincoln

I got this little book so that I could learn more about the Lincolns and their home life at the White House. It does an excellent job of telling the story of Elizabeth and Mary's friendship, which I wish could have continued, but alas, it didn't. I would recommend this book to all readers interested in US history, not matter what their age or gender, so that they can get an intimate view of the Lincoln's family life. Elizabeth was a strong and proud woman with a high moral and ethical character...if she were alive today, she would be swamped with interview requests and book deals!

Beautifully Written!

I got a copy of this book from a book fair not on purpose. As a non-native English learner, what strikes me is the ability of Keckley to express rich emotions in very simple words and sentences. I always like reading first person narratives, fictions or true stories, but seldom find one as captivating as this. A five-star from me and it's a pity she didn't seemto have written other books.

Stepping back in time

I was enthralled by every page of this book. I couldn't put it down and was disappointed when it ended. As I was reading the book, I felt like I was stepping back in time witnessing the ordinary, human, day-to-day life behind the historical events we studied in school. The story was simple and yet it presented a very intimate glimpse into the genuine personalities of Abraham and Mary and the life the author shared with them. Elizabeth Keckley was not writing to impress anyone with her "insider" position in the White House, she was just sharing her story.The stories about her life as a slave also offered the reader an opportunity to experience slavery through the eyes and heart of a slave. How lucky we are that she wrote this book.

Suppressed Original "Tell All" Book Available Affordably!

This book gives a first hand, up close and in person view of the marriage of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln during their White House years. Mrs Keckley, born a slave near Petersburg, Virginia, purchased her freedom and that of her only son. Like Mary Lincoln, she, too, lost a son during the Civil War, her only son. The book is full of wonderful quotations that have found their way into nearly every account of the First Couple. Her account of Willie Lincoln's death is especially touching. Mrs Keckley was a truly wonderful friend for Mary Lincoln, but the publication of this book ended their friendship. The reader is introduced in these pages to two remarkable women and made painfully aware of all the sadness they lived through. The reader will be grateful to have learned their story from someone who lived thru it, even though a ghostwriter assisted the former slave in her writing. The book never reached it's contemporary audience. Mary Lincoln's son, Robert Todd Lincoln, personally suppressed it. It is far more worthy to be read than the recently published "book" by the Lincoln's trifling Springfield maid, Mariah Vance, which is indeed a "Mammy"/"Aunt Jemima" diatribe if ever there was one!
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