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'Forgotten Chapters of Boston’s Literary History' Opening Events

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An exhibition about literary Boston between the Revolution and the Civil War will be on display at the Boston Public Library (BPL), with a satellite exhibition at the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS), from March 28-July 30, 2012 (Information on the free, public opening event below.)

“Forgotten Chapters of Boston’s Literary History”--curated by Boston College Professor of English Paul Lewis and created by BC faculty, students and staff members--draws on the collections of the BPL, MHS and American Antiquarian Society to tell stories about Boston’s literary history that have faded from popular memory.

“Forgotten Chapters of Boston’s Literary History”

The exhibit comprises more than 100 letters, manuscripts, and early editions of works by Olaudah Equiano, Phillis Wheatley, Judith Sargent Murray, Susanna Haswell Rowson, William Charles White, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, Charles Sprague, Lydia Maria Child, Edgar Allan Poe, Margaret Fuller, Samuel Griswold Goodrich, Sarah Josepha Hale, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, William Gilmore Simms, Charles James Sprague, James Russell Lowell, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., Nathaniel Hawthorne, Jacob Abbott and Henry David Thoreau.

Divided into six sections, or “chapters,” it follows the rise and fall of reputations, recovers out-of-print materials, and walks the streets of Boston in the heyday of its literary achievement. Topics covered at the Boston Public Library main exhibition site include the poet buried on Boston Common; the rise of children’s literature in Boston; a problem faced by Boston’s African American, Women, and Irish writers; and a little known prediction Edgar Allan Poe made about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. A satellite exhibition on the first seasons of the Federal Street Theatre will be on display at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Exhibit Opening: 5:30-6:45 p.m. in the Cheverus Room, McKim Building, Third Floor

Opening Night Program: 7-8:30 p.m. in the Rabb Lecture Hall, Johnson Building, Lower Level.

Speaker: Matthew Pearl, historical novelist: The Old Corner: How a Modest Bookstore Defined a Boston Literary Epoch.

The exhibit will be on display through July 30, 2012.

Exhibition Curated by Boston College Professor of English Paul Lewis, Presented by Boston Public Library and Massachusetts Historical Society.

Event info and text provided by Boston College. 

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