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

Behind the Scenes, or, Thirty Years a Slave, And Four Years in the White House [Kindle Edition]

Elizabeth Keckley
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

An autobiographical narrative, BEHIND THE SCENES traces Elizabeth Keckley's life from her enslavement in Virginia and North Carolina to her time as seamstress to Mary Todd Lincoln in the White House during Abraham Lincoln's administration. It was quite controversial at the time of its release--an uncompromising work that transgressed Victorian boundaries between public and private life, and lines of race, gender, and society.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 487 KB
  • Print Length: 181 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1434441946
  • Publisher: Wildside Press (29 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E81FH4Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,884 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book! 7 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
But I have not had time to read it so really cannot give it a proper review-sorry! but I know it will be a good read eventually!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  65 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Abe and Mary Lincoln from the view of Mary's modiste 3 Sep 2013
By Gayle - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"Behind the Scenes" is a historical account of the Lincoln's White House. Elizabeth Keckley was part of this history. I am reading this as a follow up to " Mrs Lincoln's Dressmaker" which follows the main events of "Behind the Scenes " to the tee. Now that I know that and had to chose one book I would read " Mrs Lincoln's Dress maker" Would be my choice. I think Elizabeth Keckley's book is good but it tends to jump around . Both books give you an understanding of the relationship between the president and Mrs Lincoln as well a a look into the history of the time.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Written 11 Jun 2013
By Verna J. Greenan - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found this book fascinating. I could not put it down. She tell about her time as a slave-the abuse and well treatment alike. How she bought her freedom and how her seamstress business led her to the white house and much more. Her time with the Mary Todd Lincoln and how she loved her. She understood Mrs.Lincoln like no one else could.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HIghly recommend this book if you like 1800's reading and Lincoln times. 27 May 2013
By Pamela R. Alexander - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is the quintessential reading if you have followed the Lincoln's, especially Mary Todd Lincoln. It fills in the gaps left by supposition regarding Mary Todd Lincoln and the real story as known and wittnessed first hand. One may choose to believe it or is a very good read!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Worth A Read 26 Oct 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Behind the Scenes or, Thirty years a slave, and Four Years in the White House is an autobiography by Elizabeth Keckley that chronicles both her years as a slave in the South and her years as a dressmaker and confidante for Mary Todd Lincoln during Abraham Lincoln's presidency. Her memoir begins with her birth as a slave in Virginia and moves to buying her freedom from her master to the beginnings of her business as a dressmaker to her famous role as confidante of Mrs. Lincoln from the first presidential term to after the assassination. The autobiography includes revealing letters from Mrs. Lincoln to Mrs. Keckley in the appendix.

Elizabeth Keckley has received much attention lately, as actresses depicting her have appeared in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln and Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker, but I like to retrieve information directly from the source, especially when the source is in the public domain. Behind the Scenes was extremely controversial at the time; Imagine if the best friend of our current First Lady were to write a memoir chronicling all of their personal conversations and then increase that intrigue based on the events of the Civil War and the presidential assassination.

Mrs. Keckley knew that writing such a novel would be the end of her personal relationship with Mrs. Lincoln, so she did not spare any detail. Interestingly, she was very forgiving to the character of Mr. Lincoln, but very strict with her supposed friend Mrs. Lincoln. Reading this autobiography made me deeply interested in Mrs. Keckley, and, although I would not want to be her friend, I was saddened when I researched her fate and found that she was buried in an unmarked grave in Maryland. For a woman who rose from a slave to the White House, she should have received more recognition.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 30 years a slave, and 4 years in the white house 31 Oct 2013
By BABs - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It was interesting, but due to the fact that it was written in the 1800's, the language made it tedious to read. Also, I had just read Mrs Lincoln's dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini, and she took quite a bit of the information from this autobiography for use in her book. I read this one hoping to find out more, but that was not the case. The letters from Mrs Lincoln were interesting though.
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