Tag Archives: Sawyer Free Library
This captivating story walk installation within the gentle park outside the Rockport Public Library was enchanting on Rockport’s Illumination night. Along with countdowns to kindergarten and story time, celebrate children’s picture books this month with Cape Ann Reads events!
Gloucester: August 17th (WED) 1:00-2:00 PM CAPE ANN READS writers workshop for all ages led by Amanda Cook of the Gloucester Writers Center (free)
Essex: August 18th (THURS) 1:00PM. Does your boat float? (free)
Essex: Teen Activity August 22nd (MON) 6:00PM (free)
Gloucester: August 27 2:30pm (SAT) Mark your live event calendar! Just 12 more days until legendary children’s book creator Ed Emberley will be at Cape Ann Community Cinema & Stage! Caldecott winner! Published more than 100 books! North Shore artist!
Did you read about Cape Cod’s Big Water Drinking Problem in the Boston Globe magazine this past weekend, the cover story? Oy, complicated.
There’s still time to register for the annual Celebrate the Clean Harbor Swim which will be held at Niles Beach Saturday morning. Swim or raise a toast–there is so much to celebrate.
Swim to celebrate Gloucester’s clean water
Swim to celebrate the moments people help*
Swim to celebrate a history of ongoing conservation
Swim to celebrate the guys on the DPW crews
Before it was Celebrate the Clean Harbor it was… clean it.
Thirteen year old Elinor Doty swam a mile and a half in 29 minutes, ahead of 16 other swimmers in 1979. The race was in tribute to John McPhee, head of Gloucester Sea Scouts. “We tried to get swimmers who knew John McPhee,” said race organizer Jim Doty, Elinor’s father. “I’d like to make it an annual event if I can swing it…”
“Rounding out the field of 17, was 68 year old Sara Robbins, who was surprised by an unexpected visitor during the middle of the race. “The grey harbor seal popped up beside me to show me a two-pound flounder that he had caught,” said Robbins, who has been training a half mile each day for the past two weeks. “I’m not too fast but I get there.” She said she used the side stroke during the whole course.”
Doty came in first place again in 1980 when the swim morphed into the ideal kick off event for Cape Ann’s Year of the Coast. Because of water quality, several parents wouldn’t let their children participate. “And only two are from the Cape Ann YMCA, James Doty notes, which usually supplies more contestants.”
Water pollution was rarely mentioned if at all before the Cape Ann Year of the Coast, an undeniable avalanche tipping point. One 1980 article has a picture of Sarah Fraser Robbins, Sarah Evans and Chandler Evans. The 8 year old was ceremoniously passed from boat to boat and then dropped in so three generations could swim across the finish line. In 1981 organizers reminded people that they didn’t need to complete the swim, they could jump in and swim across the finish line in support. I wonder if that tradition was maintained?
1980 swimmers besides the Evans clan and Doty–Gloucester residents, unless otherwise stated: David Hayden (2nd place), Karen Hartley of Dorchester (3rd place), Andy O’Brien of Rockport, Barry Hallett Jr, Darrell Hallett (swam part way alongside his brother), Kay Rubin, Polly Doty of Dedham, Jack Crowley of South Weymouth, Carl Blumenthanl, Chris Lovgren of Gloucester, Stan Luniewicz, Bill Jebb representing Sea Tec, Steve Haskell Sea Tec, Sharon Kishida Sea Tec, Earl Kishida Sea Tec, Jan Childs, Chris Sanders of Rockport, Chris Vonalt of Rockport, and Sam Rugh.
Councilor Carolyn O’Connor led a brief awards ceremony. I love the quip recorded in Laura Meades 1980 sports report Hardy Swimmers Keep Heads High: “As they went on, the swimmers shouted encouragement to one another and checked their progress. “What’s ahead of us?” asked Steve Haskell of SeaTec Inc, a diving firm. “A couple of 8-year olds,” replied SeaTec’s owner, Bill Jebb, swimming beside Haskell.”
I hope DPW feels proud that their work protected us, Gloucester’s famous harbor, our legacy.
Before the waste water treatment facility was built in 1984, untreated waste (sanitary, storm water, industrial, you name it) was discharged directly into the inner and outer harbor. Gloucester was not alone. Rockport, Essex, Beverly- there were many North Shore stories. I wish I knew the name of every person that did the necessary retrofitting and water treatment labor. They dug up roads, laid pipe, cleaned up messes, dealt with outfalls, extended sewer lines, requested a decontamination shower and changing area (1978) so they wouldn’t have to wash up at home, engineered, mapped, and monitored what was necessary to bring us from a crisis by 1980–and lawsuit– to where we are now in 2016. DPW continues to address storm water pollution, also mandated, and will make next year’s compliance deadline. (Gloucester is not unduly impaired by industrial waste like some other communities that will feel the pinch.) Thanks to Larry Durkin, Environmental Engineer, DPW, and Senator Tarr’s office for pouncing on MBTA’s pesticide spraying.
To paraphrase the famous George M Cohan quote: My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my brother thanks you, andI will add that my children thank you, future generations thank you, wildlife thanks you, businesses thank you, truly all of Gloucester thanks you!
**I grabbed material for this post from GDT headlines thanks to Sawyer Free Library. Newspapers on microfilm are available in the Reference Department. I am not alone in dreaming of the day when Gloucester archives, Gloucester Daily Times, and other essential research are digitized, but I tend to repeat this ongoing plea.
*It’s not one person, event or decade that stands out. There’s an incredible timeline of care. Who would you add? part 2
Olympics open tonight
With Rio’s challenging current events and Olympic travails, I thought Mashable did a good job on this Olympics round-up:
There’s at least one person from Gloucester in Rio for the Olympics in an official capacity. I know this because I read Nick Curcuru’s interesting article from today’s Gloucester Daily Times: Ben Richardson Heading to Rio as US Sailing Olympic Committee Chairman
Remember to toast James Brendan Connolly
I wrote about the very first Olympic winner in 1500 years having a Massachusetts and Gloucester connection, author James Brendan Connolly. Connolly won two gold medals in the Athens Olympics in 1896: Before he was a Harvard spurner, a Veteran, a Gloucester Master Mariner, a sea tales chronicler and beloved writer, James Connolly was one of 14 American athletes to compete in the international Games of the I Olympiad in Athens, Greece, 1896.
I wonder about other Olympic athletes with Gloucester ties.
Will you watch any Rio events? cue GMG poll
Where’s Gulliver? Manchester Public Library scratch ticket, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cape Ann libraries August Cape Ann Reads events
Cape Ann Reads offers the chance for the 4 libraries to collaborate and work together on community, literacy, and art. They’ve partnered with beloved organizations to celebrate the art and writing of children’s picture books.
The four Directors and Kate La Chance from Cape Ann Museum confer, early gorgeous morning on the grounds of the Manchester Public Library. Seated left to right in the nice new outdoor furniture: Kate LaChance, Cape Ann Museum; Debbie French, Essex TOHP Burnham; Deborah Kelsey, Sawyer Free; Cindy Grove, Rockport; Sara Collins, Manchester by the Sea Public Library.
Every month features Cape Ann Reads events! Here arethe next 5 CAPE ANN READS EVENTS FOR AUGUST
ENDING SOON- August 4th, Where’s Gulliver at Manchester Public Library
Manchester Public Library visitors have until August 4th to play Where’s Gulliver for a scratch card.
Rockport: August 11th (THU), 6pm. Children’s Book Publishing.
Damaris Curran Herlihy, a local resident and owner of a publishing firm will speak at theRockport Public Library. She will discuss how to prepare for publication and what to expect from the process. No registration required. FREE.
Essex: August 18th (THURS) 1:00PM. Does your boat float?
Assorted materials will be available to create your own distinctive vessel. Test it out in our pool. Ages four and up. Please sign up to calculate for materials @ mes.mvlc.org or 978-768-7410. TOHP Burnham Library, 245 Western Ave, Essex. FREE.
Essex: Teen Activity August 22nd (MON) 6:00PM
Experiment with modge podge using nautical charts. Cover books, boxes, frames or whatever to create your nautical decoration! Please sign up to calculate for materials @ mes.mvlc.org or 978-768-7410.TOHP Burnham Library, 245 Western Ave, Essex. FREE.
Gloucester: August 27 (SAT) Ed Emberley will be at Cape Ann Community Cinema & Stage!
Come to Cape Ann Community & Stage for an afternoon with acclaimed author illustrator Ed Emberley and his wife Barbara. Emberley has published close to 100 books. He collaborated with his wife on earlier works including the 1968 Caldecott winning Drummer Hoff, and more recent books with his daughter, Rebecca, such as Chicken Little and Red Hen. Please RSVP Cape Ann Community Cinema & Stage, 21 Main Street Gloucester, MA. ticket event $15 adults; $10 kids under
Theater and film buffs: hometown scop Israel Horovitz on “My Old Lady”- adapting plays to film Thursday @SawyerLibrary
Sawyer Free Library connecting notable speakers and community since 1830.
We’re lucky when artists touch down in their hometown(s). Come meet Israel Horovitz and relish an opportunity to hear him speak about his latest book, My Old Lady: Complete Stage Play and Screenplay With An Essay on Adaptation. Horovitz has been coming to Gloucester since he was a boy, “brought here by my parents on special days. 70 years and 70 plays later, every day I spend in Gloucester is still very much a special day.” That’s a 2011 quote he gave me for the Rocky Neck marker on the HarborWalk.
Israel Horovitz on Thursday night, August 4th, 7pm, Sawyer Free Library.
I wonder why playwrights have the fancier spelling? The nomenclature of the writing world opted for screenwriter not screenwrighter, and the informal mash up of ‘screenplay’ over the dramatic double ‘Stage (what?) Play (what else?)’.
Today is the anniversary of the first moon landing on July 20, 1969. When I think about this momentous day, I mostly remember the artist Robert Rauschenberg, one of the established artists paid a tiny honorarium to travel to see space launches first hand. NASA gave artists total freedom to create any visual response if so awed. They were. Decades later, Rauschenberg agreed to loan rare works of art inspired by the space program for a solo exhibit that I co-curated. It was a big surprise when he scheduled a visit. He spent a morning at the show with me, closely observing each and every piece, some he hadn’t seen since he made them. Many were created long after his residency. He was flooded; it’s very emotional.
Artist studio spaces and artist residencies are in my thoughts. As a reminder: there are two possible small and FREE temporary spaces within the inspiring Fitz Henry* Lane house that Mayor Romeo Theken has requested for Gloucester artists. Schooner Adventure and Sail GHS are generously sharing space within their headquarters in this historic City building if there’s a match. There are specific limitations and constraints. If interested in signing up for a month block of time, or to learn more please email firstname.lastname@example.org and leave complete contact information. *Fitz Henry Lane was formerly known as Fitz Hugh Lane. Henry is a longer name than Hugh which may help with remembering which name to use. (It took a long time to determine that Henry is the name.) Sail GHS has extended an offer to artists to come sail and sketch with them, plein air plein sail.
While I’m in a wishing and reflective mode, may I add that I look forward to the day when all Massachusetts newspapers are scanned and searchable. In the meantime, the Gloucester Daily Times coverage of that inspiring moon walk is on microfilm at the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library. Enjoy the headlines and some local quotes from 1969.
“Older folks take moon in stride–They’ve seen a lot, but this one…” by Henry Meyer, Gloucester Daily Times
article excerpts including quotes from Arthur Jones, Mrs. Bertha Silva, and John Bordreau (91)
This moon shot business: Can you dig it? Arthur W. Jones, 67, who lives at the Huntress Public Medical Institution can. Jones and some of his fellow residents on Emerson Avenue have seen the entire panorama of the development of aircraft… “This is one of the greatest things that has happened to our country.” The moon shot had helped to “unite people together,” he said…“When this country gets together, they do things right. No matter what they start, they finish it.”
Mrs. Bertha Silva said that Lindbergh’s flight was exciting back then. However she agreed with Jones that the landing of the first man on the moon really outdid all other flying feats…
John Bordreau, 91, also a resident of the institution was delighted by the whole affair. Boudreau predicted that astronauts soon will be flying all over the solar system…”We’ll just have to wait and see where they’re headed.” Both Jones and Boudreau said they had heard there was oil and gas on the moon. Boudreau remarked, “That’s kind of a long drive for just a couple of gallons of gas. Jones predicted that within 10 years men will be living on the moon. Some scientists said over the radio that there were eaves on the moon where people might live. He said there was oil up there and that they might be able to extract water from rocks.”…One person said that at her age she tended to be leery of these things…Others expressed confusion at the speed at which this generation seems to be moving…
excerpts from Our men on the moon: ‘A long day’…a hazardous return, by Edward K. Delong, Space Center, Houston, UPI article ran in the Gloucester Daily Times.
Mrs. Stephen Armstrong, Neil’s mother who watched her son on television from her home in Wapakoneta, Ohio, noticed this: “I could tell he was pleased and tickled and thrilled,” she said.
“Magnificent desolation,” commented Aldrin. “It has a stark beauty all of its own. It’s much like the desert of the United States.”
“It’s different, but it’s very pretty out here,” said Armstrong, who lived in California’s Mojave Desert when he was flying the X15 rocket plane. Armstrong and Aldrin, both about 5’11” cast 35 foot shadows…Zint said he was surprised by the emotion in Armstrong’s voice when he stepped onto the moon. “That was more emotion than I’ve ever heard him express before. Even when he talked about things he was excited about like space travel he always had a calm voice.”
How did Gloucester stack up?
Read on to see the state’s Cultural Facilities Funding (CFF) totaling $221,000 plus Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) totaling $88,200 in Gloucester for 2016. It’s a safe bet that each resident in the City benefits from at least one of these 2016 projects. Along with the categories below and others, make sure and think about next year’s application categories including the new festival grant category that will be due September 2016 for 2017 programming. Congratulations to all the recipients!
MCC ARTIST FELLOWSHIP -$12,000
Artist Erica Daborn, for artistic professional development. $12,000
MCC BIG YELLOW SCHOOL BUS – $600
Beeman School, O’Maley and Veterans $200 each for an educational field trip
CULTURAL FACILITIES FUND (CFF) – $221,000
Driven by the Boston Foundation, MA Advocates for the Arts, Sciences and Humanities (MAASH), the MCC and others after many years, this big pot that funds so many projects was part of legislation passed back in July of 2006. Maybe it will be increased by it’s 10th year anniversary summer 2017? Across the state over the past 9 years, “CFF has awarded grants of $91.9 million to nearly 700 projects across the Commonwealth. Demand for CFF grants continues to outpace supply…The new round includes 68 capital grants totaling $8.9 million and another 23 planning grants totaling just over $400,000. Grants range from $7,000 to $300,000, and must be matched one-to-one from private and/or other public sources.”
Maritime Gloucester To construct a Student/Visitor educational Center on Harbor Loop. $116,000
Gloucester Stage Company To replace aging and limited lighting system with a state-of-the-art lighting grid, equipment and controls, and supporting electrical rewiring. $50,000
Manship Artist Residence and Studios (MARS) To conduct a feasibility study for the renovation of the Manship property as an arts and culture center with an artist residency program. $30,000
Rocky Neck Art Colony To install an acoustic ceiling treatment, a second AC unit, lighting upgrades, and integrated A/V projection and sound equipment to its Main Hall. $25,000
MCC CULTURAL INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO- $23,000
Cape Ann Museum to celebrate the art, history and culture of the region and to keep it relevant by offering quality exhibitions and programs for our communities, and beyond. $11,500
Cape Ann Symphony Orchestra, Inc.to establish, maintain, and operate a non-profit civic symphony orchestra in the Cape Ann area to foster, promote, and increase the musical knowledge and appreciation of the public through the performance of music at concerts and other functions; to provide an opportunity for Cape Ann area musicians to play as an orchestra; and to assist and encourage the musical development of Cape Ann students. $3,800
Maritime Gloucester to promote Gloucester’s maritime heritage as a platform for teaching maritime skills and marine sciences, and for encouraging environmental stewardship. $8,700
MCC JOHN AND ABIGAIL ADAMS ART PROGRAM – $21,000
Rocky Neck Art Colony establish an Office of Cultural Development in the City of Gloucester to champion innovation in arts and culture, provide support for private and public cultural development, and invigorate the City’s cultural tourism agenda; to develop an inclusive, collaborative cultural plan for Gloucester to strengthen historic links between the city’s maritime culture, community and the arts. $21,000
MCC LOCAL CULTURAL COUNCIL (LCC)- $7600
Allocation Gloucester $7,600 Thanks Rose Sheehan and the LCC volunteers on the committee for processing all the applications every year! This year’s 21 winners
|Annisquam Historical Society||Preserving Gloucester History||$450|
|Cape Ann Shakespeare Troupe||Season 2015-2016||$348|
|DiPrima, Jay||Henry David Thoreau Lecture||$250|
|East Gloucester Elementary School||Rob Surette and His Amazing Hero Art||$300|
|Harcovitz, Ruth||Songs of World War II||$250|
|LePage, Lucille||Stories, Songs & More||$571|
|Lundberg, Christine||The Art & Craft of Folly Cove Designers Film||$500|
|Manninen, Wendy||Singing and Signing||$300|
|Maritime Gloucester Association||Off to the Races! Exhibit||$700|
|Music at Eden’s Edge||Connecting Kids to Classical Music||$500|
|Northeast Mass. Youth Orchestras||Youth Orchestra Honors Concert||$350|
|Phyllis A Marine Association||History Sharing Program||$500|
|Rockport Music||Jasper Quartet||$400|
|Sawyer Free Library||Printerbot Learning||$464|
|Sawyer Free Library||Cape Ann Reads||$500|
|Sheehan, Rose||Welcome Yule – Midwinter Celebration||$500|
|Sheehan, Rose||Cape Ann Contra Dance||$450|
|Swift, Sarah Slifer||Trident Live Art Series||$400|
|Van Dyke, Juni||The Note Card Project||$350|
|Waller, Susan||The Fiesta People’s Mural||$250|
|Windhover Foundation||Quarry Dance 5||$700|
MCC CULTURAL DISTRICTS City of Gloucester – $9000
Gloucester’s downtown Cultural District. $4,000
Gloucester’s Rocky Neck Cultural District. $5,000
MCC YOUTHREACH- $15,000
Maritime Gloucester and Action to provide hands-on marine and physical science instruction to at-risk 16-20 year-olds in collaboration with Action, Inc. $15,000
1)If you asked us: “I have a story to submit for the picture book contest, and would like to participate in a writing group, is there one?” You were not alone. We are pleased to announce:
Free writers workshops all ages at Sawyer Free Library
3rd Wednesday each month May – October, 1-2pm
Led by Amanda Cook of the Gloucester Writers Center
Register here. For more information: contact Deborah Kelsey, Director, Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Public Library email@example.com. The libraries will be hosting informational help sessions as needed and requested leading right up to the contest submission deadline which will fall in November 2016.
2)Mark your calendars for Cape Ann Reads programs
Thursday, May 12, DAISY NELL, 6pm, TOHP Burnham Library, 245 Western Avenue, Essex Local author, singer, songwriter discusses the creation of her three picture books
Saturday, May 21, MOTIF#1 DAY, Building Poetry with Picture books, 9AM-5PM. Visit the Rockport Public Library to design, photograph and display poetry created by stacking together picture books.
Saturday June 4, Round -trip double Story Walk, 10am-2pm, Manchester public Library and Manchester Historical Museum. This self-guided story walk of two great picture books will be available starting at 10 and will be accessible throughout the day. Picture book lovers of all ages are invited to walk and read and act the route together. Featured books: Stella, the Star of the Sea by Mary Louise Gay and Storm Whale by Benji Davies.
For the complete list of events for the year and all the latest information check the website capeannreads.wix/picturebooks. Additional programs may be added to the calendar.
Cape Ann Reads is a collaboration among the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library, Manchester Public Library, Rockport Public Library and TOHP Burnham Library in Essex.
Gloucester students: there’s still time to submit entires SFL Poetry Without Paper
What poem will you select to carry and share tomorrow for National Poem in Your Pocket Day April 21, 2016?
Mayor Theken selected Little Child, a poem by Peter Todd, Gloucester Poet Laureate 2014-15.
Mayor Romeo-Theken encourages Gloucester students to send their original poem to the Office of the Mayor, 9 Dale Avenue, Gloucester, MA, 01930 at any time throughout the year. She promises to read them! Students should include their name, which Gloucester school, their grade and teacher’s name.
For arts and culture, add your name to sign up sheets that are happening NOW or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since National Poem in Your Pocket Day falls on April 21 this year–during school vacation–here are a couple local reminders from two libraries:
From Valerie Marino at Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library: “Attached is a photo of our poetry display: “Take a poem, leave a poem”. There are copies of poems in the basket, most by local poets (Lisa Manning, Tom Revson, Gwen Carr, Vincent Ferrini and Charles Olson); everyone is encouraged to take a poem or leave one – (an original or one special to them). We will gladly make copies so many people can enjoy them!”
At TOHP Burnham Public Library in Essex you can pick a poem from the library’s poem tree to read to friends and family. On the 21st they have planned a special evening of poetry for all including local poets Kent Bowker, Karin Gertsch, and former Gloucester Poet Laureate, Rufus Collinson. Reminder: the library has temporarily moved out of the Town Hall and is open at 245 Western Avenue.
Poem in Your Pocket Day is everyday for some people, like my friend’s quiet poem tucking at Duckworths. I bet an FOB found one.
Pick #1 Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library book launch: The Mechanical Mind of John Coggin
Pick #2: Catch a Ride on the Swan Boats
It is opening weekend for the swan boats! In my humble opinion, a ride on the swan boats and a walk through the Public Gardens never gets old.
Pick #3: Patriots’ Day in Lexington
Lexington has so many historic, fun, and educational activities going on all weekend, but especially on Patriots’ Day!
As always, for a more comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid
National Poetry month celebrates a milestone this year: 20 years. If you haven’t heard of this commemorative theme, a generation of children has grown up with this awareness from a parent, teacher, librarian or friend. Please let us know of local events and programs honoring poetry this April so we can collect them in one spot (write in comments below and add to James Eves calendar). I am toying with ‘Terse Verse Thursdays’ as a possible theme for a series, because I’d love to share your poems on GMG. They don’t have to be strictly ‘terse verse’ where a two word rhyme response solves a question or statement.
In the meantime, you have two weeks till National Poem in Your Pocket Day. Although the date skips around annually, this year it falls on April 21 as it did in 2002 the year it was established. PIYP Day (not sure this acronym will ever have legs) was inspired by the Favorite Poem Project founded by Robert Pinsky, former Poet Laureate of the United States in 1997. Write your own or carry a favorite to share with others throughout the day. What will you choose?
Gloucester children can submit their original poems to Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library’s Poetry without Paper competition thanks to Christy Russo, John Ronan and volunteers who step up to serve on that jury panel. Gloucester students can send their original poems to the Office of the Mayor, 9 Dale Avenue, Gloucester, MA, any month. Mayor Theken promises to read them! Students should include their name, which Gloucester school, and their grade. Mention a teacher if they’ve helped.
Exhibit at the Matz Gallery, Sawyer Free Library – February 2016
Photographs by David Bovet
Fishing and the sea have defined Gloucester for centuries. The sights and smells of the water and boats are everywhere. I love roaming the docks in Gloucester to see what’s happening and perhaps capture a compelling image.
These photographs attempt to convey some of the unique marine flavor of Gloucester – especially the rugged beauty of the city’s pride, its fishing boats. And a few shots of the wide horizon’s grander view as well. My focus is on light, color and pleasing patterns, on large or small scale.
I hope you enjoy viewing these pictures as much as I’ve enjoyed making them. Walk around Gloucester and check out the waterfront in person!
This show combines my lifelong passion for boats and the sea with the art of photography. I first visited Gloucester during college, while in Boston for a work term at a fishing boat design firm. Originally trained as a naval architect, I’ve since moved on to management consulting but never lost my love of boats. A Lexington resident, I also own a home in Gloucester and enjoy spending time on Cape Ann. I’m a member of the First Parish Fine Arts Photography Club in Concord and have exhibited at the State House in Boston and at venues in Lexington and Concord.
“ROMANTIC OUTLAWS” AUTHOR AND ENDICOTT COLLEGE PROFESSOR CHARLOTTE GORDON TO SPEAK AT THE SAWYER FREE LIBRARY
About Charlotte Gordon’s latest book Romantic Outlaws, which was named one of the top books of 2015 by The Sunday Times (London), “This groundbreaking dual biography brings to life a pioneering English feminist and the daughter she never knew. Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley have each been the subject of numerous biographies, yet no one has ever examined their lives in one book—until now. In Romantic Outlaws,Charlotte Gordon reunites the trailblazing author who wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and the Romantic visionary who gave the world Frankenstein—two courageous women who should have shared their lives, but instead shared a powerful literary and feminist legacy.
In 1797, less than two weeks after giving birth to her second daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft died, and a remarkable life spent pushing against the boundaries of society’s expectations for women came to an end. But another was just beginning. Wollstonecraft’s daughter Mary was to follow a similarly audacious path. Both women had passionate relationships with several men, bore children out of wedlock, and chose to live in exile outside their native country. Each in her own time fought against the injustices women faced and wrote books that changed literary history.
The private lives of both Marys were nothing less than the stuff of great Romantic drama, providing fabulous material for Charlotte Gordon, an accomplished historian and a gifted storyteller. Taking readers on a vivid journey across revolutionary France and Victorian England, she seamlessly interweaves the lives of her two protagonists in alternating chapters, creating a book that reads like a richly textured historical novel. Gordon also paints unforgettable portraits of the men in their lives, including the mercurial genius Percy Shelley, the unbridled libertine Lord Byron, and the brilliant radical William Godwin.
“Brave, passionate, and visionary, they broke almost every rule there was to break,” Gordon writes of Wollstonecraft and Shelley. A truly revelatory biography, Romantic Outlaws reveals the defiant, creative lives of this daring mother-daughter pair who refused to be confined by the rigid conventions of their era.”
What could be easier than to give the gift of membership to the Sawyer Free Library. There are different levels, beginning with the very low amount of only $10.00 for seniors and students.
Membership dues are pooled to support the excellent library programming. One of the added benefits of becoming a member are the free passes or reduced admission to area museums, including the Peabody Essex Museum and the Boston Children’s Museum. CLICK HERE to learn more about what membership means and what your contribution brings.
What is a Monarch Butterfly explosion? The butterflies migrate to Mexico to keep from freezing to death in northern climates. The air is cool and moist in the trans-Mexican volcanic mountains, cool enough to keep them inactive and in a state of sexual immaturity, called diapause, but not so cold that they will freeze. As spring approaches and the Earth’s temperature begins to rise, the butterflies sleeping in the oyamel fir forests need to get out of the hot sun. Millions explode from the trees, drink water from nearby mountain streams, and move to a cooler, shadier spot on the mountain.
I hope you’ll come join our program Thursday night at 7pm at the Sawyer Free Library. We’ll be talking all things Monarchs including the current status of the butterfly’s migration, habitat destruction here in our own community, and most importantly, ways in which we can all help the Monarch possibly survive the warming of the earth.
We will be premiering the trailer for my forthcoming film about the Monarchs, too (also titled Beauty on the Wing). I hope to see you there!