Lost Love: A True Story of Passion, Murder, and Justice in Old New York

George Cooper, Author
George Cooper, Author Pantheon Books $23 (272p) ISBN 978-0-679-43398-9
Paperback - 978-0-679-75699-6
Hardcover - 978-1-55778-626-5
Hardcover - 978-0-517-15911-8
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Drawing on newspaper accounts, courtroom transcripts and correspondence, Cooper, a former law professor at Columbia University, has fashioned a moving and vivid account of a 19th-century New York City love story and murder. Physically abused for years by her alcoholic husband, Daniel McFarland, Abby Sage took their two children and left him in 1867. Supporting herself by acting, she fell in love with Albert Deane Richardson, a noted Civil War journalist, who asked her to marry him. After the divorce was granted, an enraged and jealous McFarland shot and killed Richardson in the lobby of the New York Tribune in 1869. Cooper posits that McFarland's subsequent acquittal--the jury determined that he was insane when he shot Richardson--was due to prevailing societal regard for the sanctity of marriage and hostility to the emerging women's rights movement. Abby pursued her acting and speaking career and died of pneumonia while traveling in Italy in 1900. Cooper's account is dramatic, evenhanded and, ultimately, an illuminating portrait of a strong and admirable woman. Photos. (Apr.)
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