By Gore Vidal
Lincoln is the cornerstone of Gore Vidal's fictional American chronicle, consisting of Burr, 1876, Washington, D.C., Empire, and Hollywood. It opens early on a frozen iciness morning in 1861, while President-elect Abraham Lincoln slips into Washington, flanked through bodyguards. the longer term president is in cover, for there's speak of a plot to homicide him. in the course of the subsequent 4 years there'll be various plots to homicide this guy who has sworn to unite a disintegrating state. remoted in a ramshackle White residence within the heart of a proslavery urban, Lincoln presides over a fragmenting executive as Lee's armies beat on the gates. during this profoundly relocating novel, a piece of epic proportions and excessive human sympathy, Lincoln is saw via his family and his opponents. the forged of characters is sort of Dickensian: politicians, generals, White apartment aides, newspapermen, Northern and Southern conspirators, amiably evil bankers, and a spouse slowly going mad. Vidal's portrait of the president is instantly intimate
and enormous, stark and intricate, drawn with the wit, grace, and authority of 1 of the nice old novelists.
With a brand new creation by way of the writer.
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Oh dear, don’t start crying now. I didn’t mean to cause offence. Come on, finish up your kipper, don’t let it go cold. Of course your mother loved you. Who am I to judge any different? And I might as well have given my Henry away, and Stewart and Andy, for all the good they do me now. They’re all rough lads, the spit of their father, and they lead me a merry dance. I wash and clean and cook and care for them all, with never a word of thanks, and then I come here to earn an honest penny and I never get thanked for that either.
I’m always partial to a cooked breakfast,’ he said, smacking his lips. Then he turned to me. ‘Right, lass. ’ ‘I – I’m not sure,’ I said. ‘Well, make up your mind – no shilly-shallying,’ said Tobias. ‘Could I settle up now but maybe leave my suitcase here for the day? ’ I asked. ‘Very well. So that’s half a crown, little miss,’ said Tobias, holding out his hand. ‘It says one shilling and sixpence on your board outside,’ I said indignantly. ’ ‘You showed me a whole purseful of money last night. I’m the landlord and I can charge what I like, whatever it says on that board.
I had had little experience of family life. My foster parents had not been the sort of couple for open affection, but they had seemed very cosily settled together. During those long lonely years growing up in the Foundling Hospital I had thought all families living together were equally happy. When my dear friend Polly and I played picturing games, our favourite fantasy was playing Mothers and Fathers. We took turns being the parents and breathed life into the hospital bolsters so that they became our babies.