Face (and Voice) of the Day


Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln, see One to Watch (Lincoln).

Stuff reports, “A towering figure such as Abraham Lincoln, who stood 1.95 metres and was one of history’s master orators, must have had a booming voice to match, right? Not in Daniel Day-Lewis’ interpretation.” I agree.  Lincoln had a soft voice and was not noted as an especially good speaker.  His famous Gettsyburg Address was rubbished at the time and actually missed by many there.

“Day-Lewis, who plays the 16th president in Steven Spielberg’s epic film biography Lincoln, which goes into wide release this weekend, settled on a higher, softer voice, saying it’s more true to descriptions of how the man actually spoke…There are numerous accounts, contemporary accounts, of his speaking voice. They tend to imply that it was fairly high, in a high register, which I believe allowed him to reach greater numbers of people when he was speaking publicly,” Day-Lewis said in an interview. Because the higher registers tend to reach farther than the lower tones, so that would have been useful to him.”

Lincoln doesn’t open in New Zealand until on 31 January. (Weeping sound).

Looking at photographs of Lincoln at the time, one can see the tremendous stress and strain of the Civil War that aged him terribly.  He also suffered from a thyroid disorder, cancer or multiple endocrine neoplasia, type 2B that is perhaps responsible for his height, protruding ears and other extremities that gave him such an odd physical appearance. He was said to have a very idosyncratic walk (John Cleese?).

Here is a list of Lincoln’s maladies:

  • Lincoln’s body shape, i.e. his height, long limbs, big feet, leanness, high voice, flat feet, sunken chest.
  • Lincoln’s sagging face, that witnesses mistakenly thought was sadness or depression.
  • Lincoln’s bumpy lips and big lower lip.
  • The large bump on Lincoln’s right cheek.
  • Lincoln’s fatigue, headaches, fainting, and cold hands & feet in his last months.
  • Lincoln’s intermittently drooping eyelids.
  • Lincoln’s constipation.
  • Lincoln’s high voice.
  • Lincoln’s propensity to lie on the floor when reading, and rest his feet on a table when sitting.
  • Lincoln’s asymmetric face and homeliness.
  • Lincoln’s loose-jointedness.
  • The death of three of Lincoln’s sons before age 20, and, probably, his mother’s death at 34.

About coNZervative

A blog about politics, life, culture, literature, music and thought from Christchurch, New Zealand [NZ] (the home of 10,000 earthquakes since 4 Sept. 2010) built because of the bullying and cajoling of Liberal opinion-makers (journalism and Hollywood) against conservative-minded people who are as entitled to opinion and a perspective as anyone; and because Conservativism has served the world well. John Stringer is a New Zealander (Christchurch) in his 50s married to an American from Taco Bell; they have 5 adult children in 3 diff. countries. John is an ex-Anglican pastor, a teacher, published author (NZ), novelist (USA) and cartoonist (Aust, NZ), and has spent the last 25 years in NZ politics with the National party (he was a parliamentary candidate in 1999). There was a stint in London working for the British Conservative party as well, where he did media minding and campaign work with several Brit cabinet ministers, including Baroness Thatcher, Baroness Blatch, Michael Howard, Tom King, among others. He has an MA (classical studies, Victoria); is a graduate of the New York Film Academy; and has various awards for writing. His passions include British bulldogs, fly fishing, and history (Ancient and WWII). Winston Churchill was mainly a “Conservative” but also a “Liberal” MP between 1900-1964. A Member of Parliament for 64 years, he contested 21 parliamentary elections (for Oldham, Manchester North West, Dundee, and Epping/Woodford). Throughout his career Churchill stood for liberty. He believed in open debate and freedom of speech, and opposed any system or ideology that tried to dictate the way one should think. Churchill felt deeply that disagreements within the democratic system should not degenerate into personal animosities. RIDER: This site is not connected to nzconservative, a Catholic site, or NZ Conservative Party, although from time-to-time I share some of the views espoused by both groups and other sites I follow, as published; I am an independent thinker and blogger.
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One Response to Face (and Voice) of the Day

  1. MvL says:

    “Lincoln was tall, angular, lanky, awkward, six feet four inches in height. Douglas was short, thick-set, graceful, polished, a man of fine presence, with a great, beautiful head, a high forehead, square chin, perfectly at home on the platform, a master of all the tricks of debate, a
    born king of assemblies. Lincoln was the stronger man, Douglas the more polished. Lincoln was the better thinker, Douglas the better orator. Lincoln relied upon fundamental principles, Douglas wanted to win his case. Lincoln’s mind was analytical, and he loved to take a theme and unfold it, peeling it like an onion, layer by layer. For Douglas, an oration was a pile of ideas, three hours high. Lincoln’s voice was a high dusty tenor, with small range, and monotonous; Douglas’s voice was a magnificent vocal instrument, extending from the flute-like tone to the deepest roar. Lincoln lacked every grace of the great orator; Douglas had every art that makes the speaker master of his audience. Morally, Lincoln’s essential qualities were his honesty, fairness, and his spirit of good will. Intellectually, he was a thinker, slow, intense, profound, always trying to find a mother principle that would explain a concrete fact.”

    This is an excerpt from “The Battle of Principles” by Newell Dwight Hillis. It was first published in the USA in 1912, putting it in the public domain in that country.

    338 pages, and free for your Kindle, and well worth the read, if only for phrases such as……
    “For Douglas, an oration was a pile of ideas, three hours high”

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