"Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Hanover: The Romance and Reality of a Maine Shipweck"
The Pejepscot Genealogical Society (PGS) presents guest speaker, Dr. Susan F. Beegel, who will tell how Harriet Beecher Stowe's mid-19th century novel, The Pearl of Orr's Island: A Story of the Coast of Maine, is not only set in our region, but based on actual people, places, and events. This illustrated lecture will focus on a maritime disaster—the tragic 1849 wreck of the ship Hanover—which provides the eventful opening of Stowe’s story. We’ll look not only at the actual shipwreck and its fictional transformation, but at how local people told the story in newspapers, letters, sermons, poems, folk art, paintings, and a uniquely Victorian art form, the moving panorama. The shipwreck will be the focal point of this talk, framed by information about the The Pearl of Orr’s Island and Stowe’s relationship to maritime Maine.
Susan F. Beegel holds a PhD in English from Yale University. Recently retired, she served for twenty-two years as editor of The Hemingway Review, a scholarly journal on the life and work of Ernest Hemingway. Beegel has published four books and more than fifty articles on aspects of 19th and 20th century American literature and history. Passionate about the sea and maritime history as well as literature, she has taught The Pearl of Orr’s Island in a Midcoast Senior College course on Maine Women Writers and during her time as adjunct Professor of English in the Williams College Maritime Studies program at Mystic Seaport, where she taught “Literature of the Sea.”
There will be a brief social period with refreshments before and after the speaker. A business meeting will follow. For more information contact John Webster, PGS President at (207) 833-5430.