Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mrs. Lincoln's Rival

Kate Chase Sprague, the daughter of Salmon Chase, entertained hopes that her father would be president, and was the belle of the ball in Washington, D. C., social circles.  

She met Mrs. Lincoln at several different social events, and just as she regarded President Lincoln as her father's biggest rival, standing in the way of him becoming president, she also saw Mary Todd Lincoln as a rival, a feeling Mrs. Lincoln seemed to reciprocate.

Set during the Civil War, Kate is able to offer a unique perspective into the workings of Washington politics as her father became the Secretary of the Treasury.

I have read many of Chiaverini's books, but am especially intrigued by the character development in Mrs. Lincoln's Rival. While at first I enjoyed Kate, and found her dedication to her father to be admirable, her inability to grow up and unwillingness to move beyond her own political ambitions were of no help in her marriage that was already troubled. Her husband, William Sprague, the former governor of Rhode Island, had his own demons to deal with, and their relationship was anything but calm.

One of the reasons I enjoy historical fiction is because it sparks an interest to learn more about little known people and events in history.  Kate Chase Sprague is such an intriguing character that I have been excitedly reading more about her and how her life unfolded after the Civil War.

To read more about Kate Chase Sprague, visit Mr. Lincoln's White House.

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