Stephen Bates

Monuments Man

Lincoln’s Body: A Cultural History

By

W W Norton 416pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

While he was alive, no one ever commended Abraham Lincoln for his looks. He was tall and shambling, awkward and flat-footed: the rough rail-splitter from the West. ‘It would be hard work to find a great man in his face or figure,’ wrote the patrician Charles Wainwright, who saw him in Washington in 1862 and was actually on his side. ‘He is infinitely uglier than any of his pictures … he grinned like a great baboon. I was ashamed to think that such a gawk was president of the United States.’ The best Lincoln could manage to say about himself was that he was homely.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • RT : 'Gracefully meditative...a Chatterton-esque literary discovery of old, albeit with references to Bob Geldof and Alk… ,
    • Still time to win tickets to Lady Windermere's Fan at the Vaudeville Theatre in London. To enter simply email marke… ,
    • In need of last minute christmas gifts for children? Philip Womack reviews the latest children's books from Jessica… ,
    • "An artist had to be a chemist – and he had to have a strong stomach. He would have known, writes Jelley, 'the usef… ,
    • Good spelling, us! ,
    • This Christmas, why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions… ,
    • Philip Henscher on Thom Gunn's 'Selected Poems' ,