Title

What Abraham Lincoln Read: An Annotated and Evaluative Bibliography

Abstract

This bibliography attempts to list, in alphabetical order by author, all the books or parts of books that any serious scholar, biographer, or bibliographer has asserted that Abraham Lincoln read. In the interest of completeness, even dubious claims have been listed. Newspapers or magazines have been excluded unless they were the only available source of a text that Lincoln read. Texts published as songs, hymns, and popular ditties are listed, but only those that Lincoln is said to have sung or recited himself (thus, no "Dixie," although Lincoln referred to the song in one of his speeches). Likewise, included are only those plays that Lincoln was known to have read, though his fondness for the theater in the White House years led him to many performances of works he did not know as texts (thus no Our American Cousin). Because of the importance of poetry in Lincoln's reading, titles of anthologized individual poems do appear, along with bibliographical information concerning such compendia. But the remainder of the contents of these "preceptors" or "recitation books" that Lincoln used as a boy are not detailed here, the occasional exceptions being prose pieces that would have been of obvious importance in the formation of Lincoln's mature thought (for instance, Jefferson's "First Inaugural" or Washington's "Farewell Address" at the end of his second presidential term). For all books, the years of first publication noted are for printings in English, whether in Great Britain or the United States.

Disciplines

Literature in English, North America