Abraham lincoln

Lasting infamy: Booth, by Karen Joy Fowler, reviewed

Were it not for an event on the night of 14 April 1865, John Wilkes Booth would be remembered, if at all, as an actor; brother of the more famous Edwin, and son of Junius Brutus – a footnote to the history of American theatre. But that night Booth leaped on to the stage of Ford’s theatre, Washington D.C., shouting ‘Sic semper tyrannis!’ before fleeing. He had just shot Abraham Lincoln. Five days earlier the Civil War had officially ended. Booth, a Confederate sympathiser, feared Lincoln would overthrow the constitution – he was already promising votes to freed slaves. The assassination was Booth’s way to ‘avenge the South’. Karen Joy