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Literature / Lincoln's Dreams

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Lincoln's Dreams is a John W. Campbell Memorial Award-winning novel, written by Connie Willis in 1987.

The novel tells the story of young history researcher Jeff, who works for a Civil War novelist. He meets Annie, a troubled young woman who is having Robert E. Lee's dreams. Together they set out to discover the reason for her vivid nightmares.

Tropes present in this work:

  • All Psychology Is Freudian: Jeff's old college roommate Richard keeps coming up with far-fetched theories to explain Annie's dreams.
  • Cool Horse: Traveller, Robert E. Lee's trustworthy stallion.
  • Shown Their Work: you will learn a lot about Civil War battles from reading this book.
    • But you will also find an example of Critical Research Failure. It is not in fact at all difficult to find out where Willie Lincoln is buried.
  • Twist Ending: The working hypothesis for most of the book is that Annie is helping Lee Rest in Peace by sharing his nightmares. The truth turns out to be he's trying to warn the girl that she has heart disease, which is what killed him, and seek medical help.


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