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Maud Howe Elliott and the American Renaissance
Maud Howe Elliott (1854-1948), the daughter of Julia Ward Howe, was a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and a tireless supporter of the arts, particularly in her adopted city of Newport, Rhode Island. An art historian and the author of over twenty works of fiction and nonfiction, including countless articles and short stories, Elliott is perhaps best known for co-writing a biography of her mother--a major figure in the political and cultural world of New England, a woman's suffrage leader, and a leading progressive political voice. Elliott sought to enhance community and regional life by founding the Art Association of Newport in 1912 (now the Newport Art Museum), which she saw as the culmination of her life's work.
Nancy Whipple Grinnell has written an informative and inspiring biography that will appeal to a broad regional readership, finally securing Elliott's place in the pantheon of American cultural benefactors.
Fifteen Thousand Years on One Square Mile
"Ceremonial time" occurs when past, present, and future can be perceived simultaneously. Experienced only rarely, usually during ritual dance, this escape from linear time is the vehicle for John Mitchell's extraordinary writing. In this, his most magical book, he traces the life of a single square mile in New England, from the last ice age through years of human history, including bear shamans, colonists, witches, local farmers, and encroaching industrial "parks."
A Collection of Forgotten Poems, 1789–1820
Welcome to Boston in the early years of the republic. Prepare to journey by stagecoach with a young man moving to the “bustling city”; stop by a tavern for food, drink, and conversation; eavesdrop on clerks and customers in a dry-goods shop; get stuck in what might have been Boston’s first traffic jam; and enjoy arch comments about spouses, doctors, lawyers, politicians, and poets. As Paul Lewis and his students at Boston College reveal, regional vernacular poetry—largely overlooked or deemed of little or no artistic value—provides access to the culture and daily life of the city. Selected from over 4,500 poems published during the early national period, the works presented here, mostly anonymous, will carry you back to Old Boston to hear the voices of its long-forgotten citizen poets.
A rich collection of lost poetry that will beguile locals and visitors alike.
Home Front and Battlefield
In this engaging volume, Thomas H. O’Connor examines the unique role that Boston and its inhabitants played in the Civil War and discusses the impact of the turbulent war years on the city’s civilian population. His captivating narrative follows the experiences of four distinctive and significant groups of people who formed antebellum Boston—businessmen, Irish Catholic immigrants, African Americans, and women. Interweaving vivid portraits of the Boston community with major political and military events of the Civil War, O’Connor relates how the war forever changed lives, disrupted homes, altered work habits, reshaped political allegiances, and transformed ideas.
Rich with colorful anecdotes about local figures, both renowned and long-forgotten, this is a fascinating account that will appeal to Civil War buffs, historians, and general readers alike.
The Nineteenth-Century Ecological & Cultural Transformations of Cape Cod
In just over a century Cape Cod was transformed from barren agricultural wasteland to bountiful fishery to pastoral postcard wilderness suitable for the tourist trade. This complex social, ecological, and scientific transformation fundamentally altered how Cape Codders used and managed their local marine resources, and determined how they eventually lost them. The Cape Cod story takes the usual land-use progression--from pristine wilderness to exploitation of resources to barren wasteland--and turns it on its head. Clearing the Coastline shows how fishermen abandoned colonial traditions of small-scale fisheries management, and how ecological, cultural, and scientific changes, as well as commercial pressures, eroded established, local conservation regimes. Without these protections, small fish and small fishermen alike were cleared from Cape Cod's coastal margins to make room for new people, whose reinvention of the Cape as a pastoral "wilderness" allowed them to overlook the social and ecological dislocation that came before.
Media Curmudgeon and Animal Rights Crusader
In this first comprehensive biography of Cleveland Amory, Marilyn Greenwald applies her considerable journalistic skills to a searching account of the complex life and times of this successful writer turned dedicated animal-rights activist. Amory’s intense commitment to his chosen cause, ignited by the spectacle of a Mexican bullfight he covered as a young journalist, permeated every aspect of his life.
His best-selling books included three classic social critiques — The Proper Bostonians, The Last Resorts, and Who Killed Society? — and his popular series on “Polar Bear,” the cat he rescued from the streets of Manhattan on Christmas Eve in 1978, now available as The Compleat Cat. In the 1960s and 1970s, Amory wrote prolifically for TV Guide (for which he was chief critic for over a decade), Saturday Review, Parade, and other publications. He was a regular commentator on Today until 1963, when he was summarily fired for a story on animal abuse that greatly disturbed NBC’s breakfast audience. In 1967, Amory founded the Fund for Animals, employing his charm, intelligence, and understanding of human nature to garner national publicity for a movement that was, in the 1960s, relatively obscure. He was the first to use celebrities — including Mary Tyler Moore, Doris Day, Grace Kelly, Dick Cavett, and Jack Paar — to rally support for animal rights.
Cleveland Amory reinvented himself several times over the course of his life, and Marilyn Greenwald follows his every step with a penetrating analysis of the man, the times, the animal-rights movement, and Amory’s extraordinary legacy.
In his full-scale history of New Hampshire from the Algonkin people to the coming of the American Revolution, the historian Jere R. Daniell discusses the Indian population, the development of community life, the founding of New Hampshire as a royal colony, the political adjustments that existence as a separate colony necessitated, the nature of New Hampshire’s social institutions, and many other subjects. His epilogue links colonial New Hampshire to subsequent developments in the state.
This volume will interest historians of colonial New England and New Hampshire.
William Cullen Bryant wrote short stories? Indeed he did, and this volume collects and evaluates them for the first time.
During the seven years before the 1832 British publication of Poems firmly established his reputation as a poet in the U.S., Bryan became a key figure in New York City's circle of fiction writers. His tales compare favorably with those of his contemporary Washington Irving, and his varied experiments in a new genre anticipate future developments by half a century and more.
Gado’s previous book presented Bryant as a major exponent of American literary nationalism and the prime antecedent of Whitman and Frost; here, he retrieves a body of short fiction from the fringe of oblivion and both shines a light on the neglected decade preceding Poe and Hawthorne and examines Bryant’s tales as part of that history.
"Frank Gado’s first-rate selection of William Cullen Bryant’s poetry and prose and his persuasive essays on Bryant’s contribution to American prosody and culture restore [him] to his rightful place in American literary history as the philosophical poet too long overlooked. An essential volume."
—Brenda Wineapple, White Heat and Ecstatic Nation
A Son of Liberty and America's Forgotten Military Disaster
At the height of the American Revolution in 1779, Massachusetts launched the Penobscot Expedition, a massive military and naval undertaking designed to force the British from the strategically important coast of Maine. What should have been an easy victory for the larger American force quickly descended into a quagmire of arguing, disobedience, and failed strategy. In the end, not only did the British retain their stronghold, but the entire flotilla of American vessels was lost in what became the worst American naval disaster prior to Pearl Harbor.
In the inevitable finger-pointing that followed the debacle, the already-famous Lieutenant Colonel Paul Revere, commissioned as the expedition’s artillery commander, was shockingly charged by fellow officers with neglect of duty, disobeying orders, and cowardice. Though he was not formally condemned by the court of inquiry, rumors still swirled around Boston concerning his role in the disaster, and so the fiery Revere spent the next several years of his life actively pursuing a court-martial, in an effort to resuscitate the one thing he valued above all—his reputation.
The single event defining Revere to this day is his ride from Charlestown to Lexington on the night of April 18, 1775, made famous by Longfellow’s poem of 1860. Greenburg’s is the first book to give a full account of Revere’s conduct before, during, and after the disastrous Penobscot Expedition, and of his questionable reputation at the time, which only Longfellow’s poem eighty years later could rehabilitate. Thanks to extensive research and a riveting narrative that brings the battles and courtroom drama to life, The Court-Martial of Paul Revere strips away the myths that surround the Sons of Liberty and reveals the humanity beneath. It is a must-read for anyone who yearns to understand the early days of our country.
A Fiction Writer's Guide to Sex, Violence, Dead Narrators, and Other Challenges
Although fiction writers must concern themselves with “big picture” issues such as plot, theme, and character development, much of the day-to-day work of writing involves finding answers to seemingly minor questions: How should I describe the exterior of a house? How can I construct the voice of a historical narrator with authenticity? How should I depict a physically atypical character? Few books on the market address the problems and opportunities present in these and other questions, yet they are the ones that most writers grapple with on a daily basis.
Danger on the Page: A Fiction Writer’s Guide to Sex, Violence, Dead Narrators, and Other Challenges identifies and explores some of the more common and intractable situational challenges of fiction writing, with chapters grouped into the general subject areas such as scenes, characters, points of view, and settings. Shawver delves into the pitfalls and opportunities of writing about sex, violence, sports, and love; he examines writing from the perspective of a different race, gender, or species; he interrogates conventional beliefs about the use of brand names, the description of architecture, and the portrayal of nature. Throughout, he gives dozens of examples from both literary and commercial fiction so readers can borrow (or reject) other writers’ techniques and explore the myriad challenges of fiction writing on their own.
A lively and witty approach to a diverse range of specific writing issues, Shawver’s book will appeal especially to intermediate-level writers seeking to bring their craft to the next level.