John Wilkes Booth: A Sisters Memoir by Asia Booth ClarkeJohn Wilkes Booth: A Sisters Memoir by Asia Booth Clarke edited by Terry Alford A sisters affectionate look into the complex mind and character of her brother, the man who killed Lincoln. Asia Booth Clarkes memoir is an indispensable resource for perceiving the complexities of her ill-fated brother. Indeed, as has been said, she turns on the light in the Booth family living room. Certainly no outsider could give such insights into the turbulent Booths childhood or share such unique personal knowledge of the gifted actor. Asia portrays him as an enigmatic figure, at once gentle and romantic while passionate and fanatical. She writes with a sisters affection and even with indulgence, but she mingles these with horror as she confronts the calamitous aftermath the assassination of Lincoln brought to Booth and to his family. Terry Alford is a professor of history at Northern Virginia Community College and a leading authority on the life of John Wilkes Booth.
The Closest Source We Have to Really Knowing John Wilkes Booth Is His Sister
Asia Booth Clarke, sickly pregnant with twins at her mansion in Philadelphia, received the morning newspaper on April 15, , in bed and screamed at the sight of the headlines: John Wilkes, her younger brother, was wanted for the assassination of President Lincoln. Asia was married to an actor, John Sleeper Clarke. Years later, Asia would describe these events—and attempt to explain her brother—in what is today a lesser-known memoir. Asia Booth Clarke's memoir is an indispensable resource for perceiving the complexities of her ill-fated brother. Certainly no outsider could give such insights into the turbulent Booth's childhood or share such unique personal knowledge of the gifted actor. As the manhunt proceeded, the authorities twice searched her home.
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At first blush, London may seem far removed from the story of the Lincoln assassination. However, the history of the assassin is very much based in his ancestral London roots. Junius Brutus Booth, the patriarch of the theatrical dynasty that fathered the assassin, was born in and started his career on the London stages of Covent Garden and Drury Lane. A few years after the assassination, John Sleeper Clarke moved his family, including his wife and sister to the assassin, Asia Booth Clarke, to London. Asia never saw America again except for when her body was returned to Baltimore, and John Sleeper sleeps forever in a London cemetery. So there are many possible Boothie missions for one to do when visiting London. There is also one small connection hidden away in a small cemetery.
Six of their children were baptized at St. John the Baptist Church in Clerkenwell. Their son, Richard Booth , was born in London on June 21, Junius ran off to America with a common-law wife, Mary Ann Holmes , in A messy divorce followed, after which Junius was able to marry Mary Ann in
The Booth family was an English American theatrical family of the 19th century. Its most famous and well known members were Edwin Booth , one of the leading actors of his day, and John Wilkes Booth , who assassinated Abraham Lincoln. The patriarch was Junius Brutus Booth , a London -born lawyer's son who eventually became an actor after he attended a production of Othello at the Covent Garden theatre. The prospects of fame, fortune, and freedom were very appealing to young Booth, and he displayed remarkable talent from an early age, deciding on a career in the theatre by the age of He performed roles in several small theaters throughout England, and joined a tour of the Low Countries in , returning the following year to make his London debut. Booth abandoned his wife and their young son in and ran off to the United States with Mary Ann Holmes, a London flower girl. They settled on some acres in Harford County near Baltimore and started a family; they had 10 children, six of whom survived to adulthood.