An Irish-American Memoir
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
As the title indicates, this book is an act of mapmaking, of plotting out overlapping territories, both topographical and temporal. These include the Boston area from colonial times to the recent past, the American Civil War, Ireland and germany in the nineteenth century, encounters with Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and with Harvard College, and aspects of family life ...
Chapter 1: Place Lore of Norwood
My brother and I walked the downtown streets of Norwood, Massachusetts, with our mother on Friday evenings all the year round in the early 1950s. We had moved from Winslow Avenue up to Walpole Street in the summer of 1951 when I was eight and Geoffrey was six...
Chapter 2: My Father’s Chapter
The picture I’m looking at is a schoolroom shot. Everyone in the class must have had one taken. There’s a blackboard behind the boy with what looks like a poem chalked on it. He’s wearing a coat that’s too big for him, doublebreasted and rumpled, and a clumsily knotted tie...
Chapter 3: Young Winslow Radcliff
When I consider the small but misery-laden body of information available about my Yankee ancestor who fought in the Civil War, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s powerful story “Young Goodman Brown” comes to mind. Young Goodman Brown came forth, at sunset, into the street of Salem village, but put his head back, after crossing the threshold, to exchange a parting kiss with his young wife.
Chapter 4: Mapping Monaghan
All students of Irish genealogy know that journeying back into the nineteenth century is not easy. In June 1922 the Irish Civil War began with the bombing by provisional Irish government forces of Dublin’s Four Courts building, a beautiful Georgian landmark on the River Liffey which had been occupied by members of the un-disbanded Irish Republican Army. ...
Chapter 5: My Mother’s Chapter
I’ve always loved D. H. Lawrence’s poem “Piano,” but I didn’t know why until I started to think back to my childhood. I realized then that the poem echoed one of my earliest memories. I am playing with blocks—ABCs in primary colors—on the yellow linoleum kitchen floor of our family’s apartment in Norwood. As we left that place in the summer of 1947, I was no older than four....
Chapter 6: Ars Brevis
My short life in art began with small-scale models made of clay inspired by religious, historical, and literary scenes. I had begun fooling about with this stuff around the age of four. On Sunday mornings, when my mother would go downtown to church on her own, leaving my father, my two-year-old brother Geoffrey, and me, making things out of clay was one of our favorite ...
Chapter 7: A Prelude
Fair seed-time had my soul, I am fortunate to be able to say. (William Wordsworth’s The Prelude supplies all of this chapter’s section headings. I’m no Wordsworth, but his extraordinary poem describes a fairly ordinary upbringing—like mine—and that’s the point.) In childhood and early adolescence, the compass directing my attention had four cardinal points: the ...
Chapter 8: A Thousand Days at Harvard
Applying to Harvard College had been my idea. Though it wasn’t the highflying, ne plus ultra, success-assuring brand name that many perceive it to be these days, Harvard in the late 1950s was certainly a prestigious school, a glittering prize, and I was much impressed by descriptions of the famous faculty, one-on-one tutorial system, and college life...
My thanks to the William R. Perkins Library at Duke University for permission to quote from the Letters of Private Fisher A. Cleaveland of Company I, 35th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, and to Mark Farrell for his permission to quote from his great-grandfather’s diary, the Civil War Diary of Sergeant Henry W. Tisdale, Co. I, 35th Massachusetts ...
Page Count: 344
Illustrations: 34 illus.
Publication Year: 2010
OCLC Number: 794700496
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Mapping Norwood