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The assassin's accomplice : Mary Surratt and the plot to kill Abraham Lincoln
Kate Clifford Larson
Adult Nonfiction E457.5 .L33 2008

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Mary Surratt was a Washington, D.C. tavern operator who was hanged for her role in the Abraham Lincoln assassination conspiracy. At the time of her speedy military tribunal and swift execution, Surratt's predicament generated considerable public debate about Southern resistance, Northern vengeance, and gender. History buffs will be enlightened by Larson's findings about the scope and scale of Confederate covert activity in the waning days of the Civil Wars. Laural Merlington does not get the opportunity to sink her teeth into the complicated human drama until rather late in the proceedings. Her portrayal of the emotionally-charged interactions between Surratt and her fragile young-adult daughter demonstrates her range as a performer, but such interludes prove rather fleeting. Larson's narrative remains tied to documentation and court transcripts, so listeners hoping for a full-blown 19th Century soap opera will need to turn elsewhere. A Basic Books hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 7). (June) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

From Library Journal:

Larson (history, Simmons Coll.; Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero) makes a compelling argument that Mary Surratt was deeply involved in the plot to kill Lincoln. Reexamining the testimony of the principals in the plot and of contemporary observers and sifting out the many myths and misrepresentations as to the extent of the conspiracy to kill the President and other prominent leaders, Larson shows that Surratt and her son were tied to Confederate spy operations, intimate with John Wilkes Booth's purpose and planning, and, in Surratt's case, a direct agent in the deadly act. Larson notes that the hanging of Surratt began the doubts about her role, for it shocked conventions and ideas about Victorian womanhood, but Larson allays any reasonable doubt about Surratt's guilt in her careful recounting of the lives of the principals, the chronology and character of their associations, and the review of the court record. Larson has written a detective story that should settle the case. Highly recommended for academic and public libraries. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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