Austin author Stephen Harrigan’s latest book is titled “A Friend of Mr. Lincoln,” and advance reading copies are arriving in offices today around the country.
The book is scheduled for publication Alfred A. Knopf in February of 2016. The list price: $17.95. 432 pages.
A publicity blurb at the front of the book says this:
“The bestselling author of ‘The Gates of the Alamo’ now gives us a galvanizing portrait of Abraham Lincoln during his Springfield years, when he risked both his sanity and his ethical bearings as he searched for the great destiny he believed to be his.
“It is Illinois in the 1830s. Abraham Lincoln is a circuit-riding lawyer, a member of the state legislature, a man of almost ungovernable ambition. To his friends he is also a beloved figure, by turns charmingly awkward and mesmerizingly self-possessed — a man of whom they expect big things. Among those friends are Joshua Speed, William Herndon, Stephen Douglas, and a fictional poet, Cage Weatherby, through whom we will come to know Lincoln in his twenties and early thirties. Cage both admires and clashes with Lincoln, often questioning his legal ethics. But he is by Lincoln’s side as he slips back and forth between high spirits and soul-hollowing sadness and depression; and as he recovers from a disastrous courtship of one woman to marry the beautiful, capricious, politically savvy, Mary Todd. It is Mary who will bring stability to Lincoln’s life, but who will also trigger a conflict that sends the two men on very different paths into the future.”