Friday, October 15, 2010

Author on John Wilkes Booth, to speak at the Lincoln Presidential Museum

SPRINGFIELD - Thanks to Nora Titone, Abraham Lincoln’s assassination will never be viewed the same way again.

Titone has penned her first book, My Thoughts Be Bloody: The Bitter Rivalry between Edwin and John Wilkes Booth That Led to an American Tragedy, and will appear for her first public book discussion and signing Thursday, October 28 at 7 p.m. in the Union Theater at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield. The event is free, but advance reservations must be made by calling (217) 558-8934.

Titone, a former researcher for famed Lincoln historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, has provided readers with a new perspective on what caused John Wilkes Booth to pull the trigger that fateful night at Ford’s Theater. By looking through the Booth family’s letters, journals and artifacts, Titone has uncovered the long-hidden struggles John Wilkes Booth faced leading up to the assassination. He struggled to live in the shadows of his famous yet troubled father, the actor Junius Brutus Booth. This set the stage for another battle between John and his brother, the equally famous actor Edwin Booth, the climax of which lead John turn the gun on Lincoln.

Titone’s book features a foreword by Goodwin and will show readers that while the Civil War may have played a part, it was not the sole factor in John Wilkes Booth’s decision to assassinate Lincoln.

Titone studied American History and Literature at Harvard University and went on to earn her M.A. in History at the University of California, Berkeley. She has worked previously as a historical researcher and currently lives in Chicago.

John Wilkes Booth is featured in several areas of the Lincoln Presidential Museum. He lurks by the White House in the Museum’s central plaza area; he can be seen sneaking into the Presidential booth at Ford’s Theater; and he plays a role in “Lincoln’s Eyes,” one of two theater shows in the Museum. In addition, original artifacts from the assassination are on display on a rotating basis in the Museum’s Treasures Gallery.

For more information about programs and exhibits at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, visit

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