Open Afternoon Book Club (The Madness of Mary Todd Lincoln/ Giant in the Shadow both by Jason Emerson)

November 16, 2016 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Open Afternoon Book Club (The Madness of Mary Todd Lincoln/ Giant in the Shadow both by Jason Emerson)

The “Open Afternoon Book Club” will meet in the Story Garden Room on Wednesday, November 16th, at 1:00 pm. This month, the group will discuss the Lincoln family through discussion through local author Jason Emerson’s The Madness of Mary Todd Lincoln and Giant in the Shadows.

       The Madness of Mary Lincoln is the first examination of Mary Lincoln’s mental illness based on the lost letters, and the first new interpretation of the insanity case in twenty years. This compelling story of the purported insanity of one of America’s most tragic first ladies provides new and previously unpublished materials, including the psychiatric diagnosis of Mary’s mental illness and her lost will.


   It’s a story not only of Mary, but also of Robert. It details how he dealt with his mother’s increasing irrationality and why it embarrassed his Victorian sensibilities; it explains the reasons he had his mother committed, his response to her suicide attempt, and her plot to murder him. It also shows why and how he ultimately agreed to her release from the asylum eight months early, and what their relationship was like until Mary’s death. (

      Giant in the ShadowAlthough he was Abraham and Mary Lincoln’s oldest and last surviving son, the details of Robert T. Lincoln’s life are misunderstood by some and unknown to many others. Nearly half a century after the last biography about Abraham Lincoln’s son was published, historian and author Jason Emerson illuminates the life of this remarkable man and his achievements in Giant in the Shadows: The Life of Robert T. Lincoln. Emerson, after nearly ten years of research, draws upon previously unavailable materials to offer the first truly definitive biography of the famous lawyer, businessman, and statesman who, much more than merely the son of America’s most famous president, made his own indelible mark on one of the most progressive and dynamic eras in United States history. (

Books are available at the circulation desk.

All events at the Cazenovia Public Library are free and open to the public. For more information on the “Open Afternoon Book Club” or other Library events, call 655-9322 or visit