The six-hour special follows Abraham and Mary Lincoln from their strikingly different childhoods to their years in the White House; uncovers their ambitions and their fears; and paints a vivid picture of a couple who loved each other passionately, quarreled intensely and mourned frequently. And it describes the impact of Lincoln's assassination on the nation and on the sanity of his wife.
Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided explores the personal story of one of the most intriguing couples to have lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Elected to the Oval Office only to see the nation split in two, Abraham led the country through its most terrible conflict. At the same time, his own household mirrored the fissures that rent the nation: the great emancipator was married to the daughter of a slave owner. Mary lost three half-brothers to Lincolnís armies and was frequently accused of being a Confederate sympathizer.
"A House Divided" weaves original cinematography of re-created battle scenes and White House dinners, cabinet meetings and shopping sprees with daguerreotypes to generate a sense of mid-19th century America. The film, narrated by David McCullough, also incorporates interviews with scholars and readings by actors David Morse (Abraham) and Holly Hunter (Mary).