I have not only always thought that Franklin Pierce would be a perfect subject for some sort of dramatic interpretation, but I have considered writing it myself. In fact, I’m still considering it. It would be good as a movie or a mini-series, but I’ve been thinking for the past year or so about writing it as a stage play.
Pierce is one of, if not the, most obscure Presidents in American history, so it may seem like an odd choice, but there was so much heartbreak and tragedy in his life to match the triumphs (and there were remarkable triumphs) that there is a deep story there. It has some serious Shakespearean themes in it and that’s as straightforward history without even dramatizing it or taking creative liberties.
There is something there with Pierce and I’ve been drawn to him for as long as I’ve been seriously studying the Presidents. One of my first publications as a Presidential historian was an essay for the New Hampshire Historical Society’s Franklin Pierce Bicentennial Commission. I’m drawn to him, and I think I’ll eventually make the jump.
•Oh, and I’ve mentioned this before even though it would never happen, but Johnny Depp was born to play President Pierce: