DIM THE FLARING LAMPS by Jan Jordan

DIM THE FLARING LAMPS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A fictional biography of John Wilkes Booth in which solid matter and a dash of myth are melded to no particular purpose other than to draw a straight line between a hypothetical Wilkes as a child and the Act. The author coasts along on the well known fact of Wilkes' Southern sympathies, although the frequent interviews with President Jefferson Davis, official espionage duties, and plots to rescue Confederate prisoners may be made from whole linsey woolsey. Wilkes' abortive attempt to kidnap Lincoln here is simply a ""whoops, wrong carriage"" affair, and the assassination was brought on by the execution of a Confederate friend, whom Lincoln had spared although Stanton had countermanded the order. Etcetera. Unfortunately in attempting to straighten Wilkes' motivations, the personality of what must have been an extravagant fanatic is hammered flat as a cockle sheet. There is no feeling here for the period, the theater of the Booths, or even the many women successfully importuned by Wilkes. Dim lamps indeed.

Pub Date: Jan. 19th, 1971
Publisher: Prentice-Hall