Mrs. Lincoln's dressmaker: the unlikely friendship of Elizabeth Keckley and Mary Todd Lincoln

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National Geographic,
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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.
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Level 7, 2 Points
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID c563d66e-ff2d-b35f-ada4-355f597ded57
Grouping Title mrs lincoln s dressmaker the unlikely friendship of elizabeth keckley and mary todd lincoln
Grouping Author jones lynda
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-07-07 04:48:42AM
Last Indexed 2019-07-20 04:56:26AM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_interest_level MG
accelerated_reader_point_value 2
accelerated_reader_reading_level 7
author Jones, Lynda.
author_display Jones, Lynda
collection_arlington Kids Nonfiction
detailed_location_arlington Shirlington Kids Nonfiction
format_arlington Book
format_category_arlington Books
id c563d66e-ff2d-b35f-ada4-355f597ded57
isbn 9781426303777, 9781426303784
item_details ils:.b12953805|.i13856005|Shirlington Kids Nonfiction|J 973. 7092 JONES|||1|false|false|||||Due Jul 27, 2019|Jan 08, 2018|sjn||
itype_arlington Hardback
last_indexed 2019-07-20T08:56:26.999Z
lexile_score 960
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_arlington J 973. 7092 JONES
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
owning_location_arlington Shirlington
primary_isbn 9781426303777
publishDate 2009
record_details ils:.b12953805|Book|Books||English|National Geographic,|2009.|80 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
ils:.b12953805 .i13856005 Checked Out Checked Out false false true false false true 9999
subject_facet Washington (D.C.) -- Race relations -- History -- 19th century -- Juvenile literature, Washington (D.C.) -- Social life and customs -- 19th century -- Juvenile literature
title_display Mrs. Lincoln's dressmaker : the unlikely friendship of Elizabeth Keckley and Mary Todd Lincoln
title_full Mrs. Lincoln's dressmaker : the unlikely friendship of Elizabeth Keckley and Mary Todd Lincoln / by Lynda D. Jones
title_short Mrs. Lincoln's dressmaker :
title_sub the unlikely friendship of Elizabeth Keckley and Mary Todd Lincoln