When John Wilkes Booth died—shot inside a burning barn and dragged out twelve days after he assassinated President Lincoln—all he had in his pocket were a compass, a candle, a diary, and five photographs of five different women. They were not ordinary women. Four of them were among the most beautiful actresses of the day; the fifth was Booth’s wealthy fiancée.
And those five women are just the tip of the iceberg.
Before he shot the president of the United States and entered the annals of history as a killer, actor John Wilkes Booth had quite a way with women. There was the actress who cut his throat and almost killed him in a jealous rage. There was the prostitute who tried to kill herself because he abandoned her. There was the actress who would swear she witnessed him murdering Lincoln, even though she was thousands of miles away at the time. John Wilkes Booth was hungry for fame, touchy about politics, and a notorious womanizer. But this book isn’t about John Wilkes Booth—not really. This book is about his women: women who were once notorious in their own right; women who were consumed by love, jealousy, strife, and heartbreak; women whose lives took wild turns before and after Lincoln’s assassination; women whom have been condemned to the footnotes of history… until now.
Tags: E. Lawrence Abel, John Wilkes Booth and the Women Who Loved Him
E. Lawrence Abel is a “distinguished faculty professor” and “emeritus professor” at Wayne State University in Detroit. He has joint […] More about E. Lawrence Abel.