This is the first part of a six-part series on the marriage of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd. Two parts are shown on each DVD in the collection.
Most today don't realize that the Lincoln marriage was very, very troubled. Part of it was due to the depression that both Abe and Mary experienced and part of it was due to increasingly irrational behaviors of Mary--which only got worse after her husband's assassination. However, this being the first episode, it focuses much less on their problems and much more on the early life of Abe--from his birth until he is, rather miraculously, elected president. Considering Lincoln's rather mediocre political career up until then, it's a wonder that he became president--having only served one term in Congress and a couple terms in the state legislature.
Unlike the previous two episodes, "Shattered" confines itself to a very short period of time--1861 through 1862! This is understandable for two obvious reasons--Abe was now super-famous since he was President and the Civil War began. However, this period would also be the Lincoln's worst to this point. Not only did the Civil War go badly, but their beloved child, Willie, would die--and Mary would slide deeper into depression and absorption. This, combined with her obsessive spending were major difficulties for Mary, while Abe was carrying the weight of the war on his shoulders. As in previous episodes, this one is very well made and quite compelling--and well worth seeing.
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