Jason Emerson's new book, "Lincoln's Lover: Mary Lincoln in Poetry," was released Jan. 15 from Kent State University Press.
Eagle staff report
Cazenovia historian Jason Emerson has been studying and writing about Abraham Lincoln and his family for nearly 25 years. This week, Emerson saw the release of his latest book, “Lincoln’s Lover: Mary Lincoln in Poetry,” published by Kent State University Press.
The book is a compilation of poetry written by, for and about Mary Lincoln dating from 1839 to 2012. Each poem is introduced with historical and poetic contexts, as well as brief information about the poets themselves, many of them just as interesting as their muse.
Presented chronologically, the works offer a view of the changing perceptions of Mary Lincoln through the years. The poems show Mary as woman, wife, first lady and widow, as well as insane woman, complex individual and intricate and indispensable part of her husband.
“This book was a labor of love, combining my passions for poetry, history and biography,” Emerson said. “Mary Lincoln is a fascinating woman, and I found that experiencing her words, thoughts, actions and legacy through a century and a half of poetic styles and voices really brings her life to light in a unique way. I hope people enjoy it.”
Emerson, who is also the editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers, has been studying and writing about the life and times of Abraham Lincoln and his family for more than 20 years. His fascination with the Lincolns began when he worked as a National Park Service park ranger at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Illinois, and the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania in the 1990s.
Emerson’s first book, “The Madness of Mary Lincoln,” was published in 2007 by Southern Illinois University Press. It was named Book of the Year by the Illinois State Historical Society, was picked up by both the Book of the Month and History Book of the Month clubs and is currently in its fifth printing. Since then, Emerson has published two additional books about Mary Lincoln, one about Abraham Lincoln and a biography of Robert T. Lincoln, the oldest Lincoln son.
Emerson has spoken to audiences across the country, including at the Library of Congress, the National Archives and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library; he has also appeared as a historical expert on multiple television programs on channels such as The History Channel, H2, CNBC and Book TV.
More information about Emerson’s history writings can be found on his website at jasonemerson.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.