Tuesday, March 31, 2015

"Ancient Aliens" to cover Civil War

When History's Ancient Aliens returns on April 10, the new season will premiere with "Aliens and the Civil War."  According the official episode description on History.com: "The Civil War nearly destroyed the great experiment known as the United States of America, but it is possible that the preservation of the republic was influenced by extraterrestrial beings?  Abraham Lincoln described strange visions and premonitions that occur before pivotal moments in his presidency.  Union officer Ambrose Bierce wrote about mysterious disappearances and inter-dimensional travel.  And a ghostly image of George Washington was witnessed by hundreds of soldiers at Gettysburg--prompting an official investigation.  Is it possible that extraterrestrials were present during the Civil War?  If so, were they simply passive observers waiting to see if our fragile democracy could survive this test?  Or did they take an active roll in order to preserve the Union?"

     (Image courtesy of Wikipedia)

I am looking forward to watching the episode when it airs, as the show has been one of my favorite guilty pleasures since the first special aired in 2009.  I am especially curious how the show deals with the numerous visions President Abraham Lincoln had, a topic I discuss in depth in my book "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears": Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House.  

I will be following this episode closely and will share my thoughts here after the show airs on April 10, 2015.

Lincoln Home National Historic Site

In March 2015 I achieved a personal goal when "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears" was approved by the National Park Service to be sold at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, IL. Here is the image of me mailing the books to Springfield--of course I had to blink in the only picture taken!

John Wilkes Booth 150th

On April 26, 1865, John Wilkes Booth the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln died at the Garret Farm outside of the town of Port Royal, Caroline County, VA.  In April 2015, Port Royal and Caroline County are commemorating the death of Booth and the capture of his co-conspirator David Herold and as part of the event I will be signing copies of "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears": Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House at the Port Royal Museum of American History on April 25, 2015.

Port Royal Museum of History
April 25, 2015
Time: Throughout the day

For more information visit Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the Capture of Lincoln's Assassin

Gettysburg Heritage Center

My second event in April 2015 will be at the Gettysburg Heritage Center where I will be signing copies of "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears": Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House om April 18.  Come visit the Heritage Center to see the brand new displays and the hearse that transported President Lincoln's body from the Peterson House to the White House on April 15, 1865.

Gettysburg Heritage Center
Gettysburg, PA
Saturday, April 18, 2015 

Appomattox--The Long Road Home

April is going to be an amazing month, as few months were as jam-packed with history at April 1865 was.  There are going to be several events commemorating the events of April 1865 and I will be at several signing copies of "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears": Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House   

The first event will be on at Appomattox 150--The Long Road Home
April 10-12, 2015
Appomattox, VA

On Friday, April 10, at 1:50 P.M., I will be speaking in the author's tent.  I will be signing copies of my book throughout the weekend at my booth.  Be sure to stop by, as I will have an exciting announcement about my next book!

Appomattox--The Long Road Home

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Book Review: The Marriage Game: A Novel of Elizabeth I by Alison Weir

Though I try to keep this blog focused strictly on topics related to the American Civil War, I had to post my thoughts on this wonderful novel here.  I have had a fascination with Queen Elizabeth I and the Tudor period since I was a preteen.  Fueling my interest has been the wonderful books of historian Alison Weir who has written several acclaimed books of the Tudors and is now turning her talents into writing historical fiction.

The best novel about Queen Elizabeth I since Margaret George's "Elizabeth I," Alison Weir's The Marriage Game: A Novel of Elizabeth I transports the reader back to the tumultuous days of Elizabeth's reign when her hand in marriage was the biggest diplomatic bargaining chip in Europe. But there is major problem--the queen has no desire to marry. Haunted by her childhood in the court of her father King Henry VIII, Elizabeth swears that there will only be one mistress and no master in her reign. Hemmed in by cultural expectations that women, particular queens, must marry, Elizabeth will skillfully play "the marriage game" to the exasperation of her councilors. 

Though Elizabeth has no desire to marry, she falls deeply in love with her childhood friend Robert Dudley. The love store of Elizabeth and Robert play out in the pages of Alison Weir's novel in all of its complex dimensions. While Elizabeth and Robert loved each other deeply, the couple also knew how to hurt each other deeply. As both wanted more from the other than they were willing to give. 

This lush and gripping novel begins with Elizabeth's accession to the crown in 1558 to the defeat of the Spanish armada in 1588. Alison Weir is an acclaimed historian who has written extensively on the Tudors, and her knowledge on the period shines through every page. I was completely transported back to Elizabeth's court in all its glory and artifice.

Get the Marriage Game today on Amazon!

Visit Alison Weir website.