Cover image for American gothic  the story of America's legendary theatrical family, Junius, Edwin, and John Wilkes Booth
Title:
American gothic the story of America's legendary theatrical family, Junius, Edwin, and John Wilkes Booth
Publication Information:
New York, New York : Open Road Integrated Media, 2016.

©1992
ISBN:
9781504039765
Physical Description:
1 online resource (265 pages)
Language:
English
Local Note:
Electronic reproduction. Ann Arbor, MI : ProQuest, 2016. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ProQuest affiliated libraries.
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Summary

Summary

A New York Times -bestselling author's "lively" account of a family of famous actors--who became notorious after the assassination of President Lincoln ( The New Yorker ).

Junius Booth and his sons, Edwin and John Wilkes, were nineteenth-century America's most famous theatrical family. Yet the Booth name is forever etched in the history books for one terrible reason: the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865.

In American Gothic , bestselling historian Gene Smith vividly chronicles the triumphs, scandals, and tragedies of this infamous family. The preeminent English tragedian of his day, Junius Booth was a madman and an alcoholic who abandoned his wife and young son to move to America and start a new family. His son Edwin became the most renowned Shakespearean actor in America, famously playing Hamlet for one hundred consecutive nights, but he suffered from depression and a crippling fear of inheriting his father's insanity.

Blessed with extraordinary good looks and a gregarious nature, John Wilkes Booth seemed destined for spectacular fame and fortune. However, his sympathy for the Confederate cause unleashed a dangerous instability that brought permanent disgrace to his family and forever changed the course of American history.

Richly detailed and emotionally insightful, American Gothic is a "ripping good tale" that brings to life the true story behind a family tragedy of Shakespearean proportions ( The New York Times ).