Month: July 2014
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1836 New England Primer, designed to help students in “attaining the true reading of English.”
“Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.” – Nathaniel Hathorne, born July 4, 1804 in Salem, MA
In Robert Ludlum’s suspense novel, “The Matlock Paper,” protagonist James Barbour Matlock is an English professor at the fictitious Carlyle University in Connecticut. Although Ludlim (as far as anyone knows) was not, like Matlock, recruited by the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate a drug smuggling ring, he did go to a college very similar to Carlyle—Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, where he was a member of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity. Matlock Paper fans who visit Wesleyan will see that the liberal arts school is only thinly disguised in the novel and enjoy walking where Matlock did.
Novelist, poet and feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and was the niece of suffragist Isabella Beecher Hooker and author/civil rights reformer Harriet Beecher Stowe, who also both lived in Hartford. Today via @LitNewEngland, we’ll start Tweeting the #FirstLines and #LastLines of Charlotte’s best-known work, “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Semi-autobiographical and inspired by her own struggle with postpartum psychosis, the short story was first published in the January 1892 issue of The New England Magazine. We hope you’ll follow along as we tweet several lines a day for the next week and a half. If you missed it, this past Tuesday we tweeted the #FirstLines and #LastLines of H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Shunned House.”
If you follow @LitNewEngland on Twitter, you know that over the past couple of months we’ve Tweeted the #FirstLines and #LastLines of Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women.” Today, we’ll be Tweeting the #FirstLines and #LastLines of H.P. Lovecraft’s short story “The Shunned House,” inspired by his Aunt Lillian’s house at 135 Benefit Street in Providence, Rhode Island. Shown here is the actual house. If you don’t know Howard Phillips Lovecraft, you should! Although he never achieved real fame while he was alive (1890-1937), he is today considered one of the masters and forefathers of horror fiction.