This book "BEHIND THE SCENES" scenes is the equivalent of a modern day expose on the part of an individual that has access to one of the most powerful families at that time in history including the associated networks. It is said that Keckley, who was the first African-American dressmaker and confidente was only trying to help her friend raises finances with this publication, after she realised that the her best friend was left without any financial support, after her husband President Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated. Though Keckley anticipated some disapproval for publishing personal details about the Lincoln's private affairs, she did not foresee the overwhelming public disapproval of her publication, from the Lincoln family, including her the rich and wealthy, clients, which in effect ended her dressmaking career. In order to add insight and perspective to this often reprinted book, the editor Delroy Constantine-Simms (C.Psychol) of Think Doctor Publications, has included more than 20 interviews with former slaves, with photographs of the interviewees. By doing so the editor enables the reader to appreciate that Elizabeth Keckleys life, though similar to many freed slaves was in stark contrast to the many former slaves, who were unable to buy their freedom, let alone enjoy the luxurious lifestyle once enjoyed by Keckley, a life style that she would never enjoy again, because of the publication of this book "BEHIND THE SCENES.
About the Author
Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley (sometimes spelled Keckly;February 1818 - May 1907) was a former slave who became a successful seamstress, civic activist and author in Washington, DC. She was best known as the personal modiste and confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln, the First Lady. Keckley had moved to Washington in 1860 after buying her freedom and that of her son in St. Louis. She created an independent business in the capital based on clients who were the wives of the government elite. Among them were Varina Davis, wife of Jefferson Davis; and Mary Anna Custis Lee, wife of Robert E. Lee. After the American Civil War, Keckley wrote and published an autobiography, Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House (1868). It was both a slave narrative and a portrait of the First Family, especially Mary Todd Lincoln, and considered controversial for breaking privacy about them. It was also her claim as a businesswoman to be part of the new mixed-race, educated middle-class that were visible among the leadership of the black community. Keckley's relationship with Mary Todd Lincoln, the President's wife, was notable for its personal quality and intimacy, as well as its endurance over time.