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Behind the Scenes: or, Thirty Years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House

Authors: Keckley, Elizabeth
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
BISAC/Subject: BIO022000, HIS036050, BIO006000
ISBN: 9781101007327, Related ISBNs: 0143039245, 110100732X, 9780143039242, 9781101007327
Classification: Non-Fiction
Number of pages: 192,
Audience: General/trade
Synopsis: Originally published in 1868—when it was attacked as an “indecent book” authored by a “traitorous eavesdropper”—Behind the Scenes is the story of Elizabeth Keckley, who began her life as a slave and became a privileged witness to the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. Keckley bought her freedom at the age of thirty-seven and set up a successful dressmaking business in Washington, D.C. She became modiste to Mary Todd Lincoln and in time her friend and confidante, a relationship that continued after Lincoln’s assassination. In documenting that friendship—often using the First Lady’s own letters—Behind the Scenes fuses the slave narrative with the political memoir. It remains extraordinary for its poignancy, candor, and historical perspective.
  • First time in Penguin Classics

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