Sunday, January 16, 2011

The son also rises

It's amazing how addicting some blogs can be.  I have to limit how much time I spend going through them, or else I'd never get anything done.

In the past few days, I've been catching up on my reading and adding material to my site.  (Note the links on the right-hand side of this page.) And I've found some really good stuff.

I specifically wanted to point out this excellent bio of Robert Todd Lincoln.  Robert is especially close to my heart, because he's such a key character in my book, so I've spent a lot of long hours with him-- in a manner of speaking.

I should point out, of course, that the Robert Lincoln in 1871 is a fictionalized version of him.  He's very close to the real person because I never violated any known facts, and all of his family problems-- including his brother's death, his mother's illness, and his separation from his wife-- are true.  But I did have to invent a lot of details, because the real Robert Lincoln was so private that we don't know what made him tick.  I based all that on a friend of mine, who also grew up in the public spotlight and later struggled to be his own man.

In real life, though, I do think Robert has gotten short shrift from history.  He really was a big mover and shaker, especially in the second half of his life.  In fact, he was right up there with John D. Rockefeller, Theodore Roosevelt, and Andrew Carnegie, and he traveled in the same circles; but nobody remembers him that way.  We remember him as the son of Abraham Lincoln.  Part of that was Robert's own doing because of the way he shied from publicity, but I do know it bothered him.  I can't say I blame him-- I wouldn't want to live my whole life in my dad's shadow either.

At any rate, those are my two cents on the subject.  The linked story speaks for itself.  Enjoy!

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