Richard Carwardine is a professor emeritus of history and a former president of Corpus Christi College, Oxford University. Elected a fellow of the British Academy in 2006, he is the author of Transatlantic Revivalism: Popular Evangelicalism in Britain and America 1790-1865 (1978) and Evangelicals and Politics in Antebellum America (1993). His analytical political biography of Abraham Lincoln won the Lincoln Prize in 2004; the American edition was subsequently published as Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power (2006). Most recently, he is a coeditor, with Jay Sexton, of The Global Lincoln (2011), a collective investigation of Lincoln's international reach and legacy, and the author of Lincoln's Sense of Humor (2017), which won the Abraham Lincoln Institute Book Prize.
For Lincoln, humor was a serious business. This lecture explains why.