UPCOMING EVENTS

Anne Willan with Women in the Kitchen: Twelve Essential Cookbook Writers Who Defined the Way We Eat, from 1661 to Today

Free Virtual Event: Thursday, November 4 at 1 p.m. ET

Moderator: Sheryl Julian, award-winning food writer
Presented in partnership with State Library of Massachusetts


A culinary historian traces the origins of American cooking through profiles of twelve essential women cookbook writers, highlighting their key historical contributions and recipes.

Anne Willan, multi-award-winning culinary historian, cookbook writer, cooking teacher, and founder of La Varenne Cooking School in Paris, explores the lives and work of women cookbook authors whose important books have defined cooking over the past three hundred years. Beginning with the first published cookbook by Hannah Woolley in 1661, Women in the Kitchen moves through history to show how female cookbook authors have shaped American cooking today. Don’t miss learning more about such the lives, talent, and impact of such visionary cooks and chefs as Fannie Farmer, Julia Child, and Alice Waters.

Anne Willan founded La Varenne Cooking School in Paris in 1975 and has written more than thirty books, including the double James Beard Award–winning, The Country Cooking of France, the Gourmand Award¬–winning The Cookbook Library, and the groundbreaking La Varenne Pratique, as well as the Look & Cook series, showcased on PBS. In 2013, she was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Awards Hall of Fame. Willan serves as an Emeritus Advisor for The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts.

Sheryl Julian was the longtime award-winning Food Editor of The Boston Globe. She trained at the Cordon Bleu schools in London and Paris, was deputy director of La Varenne cooking school in Paris, is co-author of The Way We Cook, and editor of The New Boston Globe Cookbook. She runs food styling workshops in the Boston area, writes regularly for The Boston Globe, and teaches food writing in the Gastronomy master's program at Boston University.

Robert A. Gross with The Transcendentalists and Their World

Free Virtual Event: Tuesday, November 9 at 6 p.m. ET

Moderator: Lucinda Brockway, Program Director for Cultural Resources, The Trustees
Presented in partnership Boston Public Library and The Trustees


A fresh view on nineteenth century Concord and its community of thinkers whose outsize impact on philosophy and literature spread from New England to the corners of the earth.

From the 1820s through the 1840s Concord, Massachusetts was home to celebrated authors, poets, and philosophers including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Louisa May and Bronson Alcott. These Transcendentalists and their neighbors lived through a transformative epoch of American life. Hear from Bancroft-winning historian Robert A. Gross about his latest work, The Transcendentalists and Their World, an intimate journey into the life of a community and a searching cultural study of major American writers who pursued spiritual truths.

Robert A. Gross is the James L. and Shirley A. Draper Professor of Early American History Emeritus at the University of Connecticut. He is the author of The Minutemen and Their World (1976), winner of the Bancroft Prize, and of Books and Libraries in Thoreau’s Concord (1988); with Mary Kelley, he is coeditor of An Extensive Republic: Print, Culture, and Society in the New Nation, 1790–1840 (2010). A former assistant editor of Newsweek, he has written for Esquire, Harper’s, the Boston Globe, and the New York Times and his essays have appeared in The American Scholar, New England Quarterly, Raritan, and Yale Review.

Lucinda (Cindy) Brockway is Program Director of Cultural Resources, for The Trustees, where she leads a team of cultural resource specialists seeking innovative solutions for research and stewardship of their unique cultural sites. She and her team facilitated the curation of landscape research, planning and investments in the Old Manse (Concord), one of three National Landmark sites owned by The Trustees. Brockway is the author of two books and has published articles in Old House Journal, Colonial Homes, Accent, Nineteenth Century, and the American Public Gardens Association Magazine.

Discussing Adoption: Driving Positive Outcomes in the Search for Knowledge, Past and Present

Live Panel Discussion: Monday, November 15 at 6 p.m. ET
Cost: $75

An Online Conversation Course with lawyer Gregory Luce, genealogist Melanie McComb, and author Gabrielle Glaser
Moderator: TV Host and Author Bill Griffeth


Over the past several decades, the dynamics of adoption and access to its critical records have shifted dramatically. Our society’s move toward greater openness and advances in DNA has changed the landscape for families and researchers. State by state, the laws are different: in some, secrecy still controls; in others, birth records are available to adoptees on request. Across the country, individuals are being reunited with their biological families.

This online conversation course brings together professionals from a variety of fields to discuss approaches to researching adoptions (both historical and current day), current and coming legislation, and new techniques for connecting with living family members and broadening your family tree. The panelists will also share instructive and inspiring stories, some of them personal, about the search for knowledge. Through a combination of instructive videos, educational resources, and a lively panel discussion, this unique course will give you the traction and tools you need to further your own research.

Sharing strategies for a successful search, lawyer Gregory Luce will review individuals’ rights to adoption information, including their ancestors’ and their own critical records, and point to new opportunities and pending legislation.

NEHGS Genealogist Melanie McComb will shine light on historical research of adoption and expose the nuts-and-bolts of how it’s most efficiently executed. She’ll provide insight on building out your family tree in the face of an adoption “road block.”

Journalist and Author Gabrielle Glaser (American Baby: A Mother, A Child, and the Shadow History of Adoption) will speak to big-picture cultural trends in adoption. She’ll share stories of families looking particularly at how others found success and personal satisfaction in their search.

In addition to moderating, TV anchor and author Bill Griffeth will lend his personal insights on the topic gained through research for his coming book, Strangers No More, the sequel to his best-loved memoir The Stranger in My Genes.

Julie Flavell with The Howe Dynasty: The Untold Story of a Military Family and the Women Behind Britain's Wars for America

Free Virtual Event: Thursday, December 2 at 1 p.m. ET

Moderator: Historian Mary Beth Norton


Alongside its legendary military men, the women of the Howe family wielded unprecedented – and, until now, unexamined – influence on the British side of the American Revolution.

Many historians have documented the lives and exploits of Howe men including Richard Admiral Lord Howe and his younger brother British General Sir William Howe, victor in the Battle of Bunker Hill. But few have measured the influence of the Howe women including sister Caroline Howe, a friend of Benjamin Franklin, and her savvy aunt Mary Herbert Countess Pembroke. Drawn from letters and correspondence, The Howe Dynasty sheds new light one of one of England’s most famous military families and forces us to reimagine the Revolutionary War. Don’t miss hearing about this unique and riveting narrative work and Julie Flavell’s discussion with the celebrated historian Mary Beth Norton.

Julie Flavell was born in Massachusetts. Her lifelong interest in Anglo-American relationships was reflected in her first book, When London Was Capital of America. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, she lives in Britain.

Mary Beth Norton is the Mary Donlon Alger Professor of American History Emerita at Cornell University. Her highly acclaimed books include 1774, In the Devil’s Snare, Founding Mothers & Fathers, Liberty’s Daughters, and The British-Americans.

Writing History with H.W. Brands

Our First Civil War: Patriots and Loyalists in the American Revolution

Virtual Event: Tuesday, December 7 at 6 p.m. ET

Cost: $50, includes Zoom meeting link and signed and personalized book

Ryan Woods, American Ancestors/New England Historic Genealogical Society, and Catherine Allgor, Massachusetts Historical Society
Presented in partnership with Massachusetts Historical Society and Porter Square Books


The best-selling historian and Pulitzer Prize finalist shares insights on his research and craft of writing history following a discussion of his new, page-turning narrative of the American Revolution.

In a fresh and dramatic recasting of the American Revolution, H. W. Brands reveals how the war was not simply a conflict between the American colonists and British redcoats. It was also a violent battle among neighbors, friends, and family members, affecting Ben Franklin and his relationship with his son; George Washington’s standing at the apex of Virginia society; and the lives and friendships of royal governors such as Thomas Hutchinson. Native Americans and the enslaved had daunting choices to make, too, as civil war broke out around them. Those committing sedition were ultimately remembered as heroes and Founding Fathers.

In this intimate Zoom meeting, the best-selling historian will share an illustrated presentation, join in a discussion, and answer your questions about his inspirations, research, and process behind writing his new book and other celebrated works of American history. Don’t miss this informative and inspiring literary event, which comes with a signed and personalized copy of Our First Civil War.

H. W. Brands holds the Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in History at the University of Texas at Austin. He has written more than a dozen biographies and histories, two of which, The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin and Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War was a New York Times bestseller.

Ryan J. Woods, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer of American Ancestors New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), has authored pedagogical articles about the use of historical biographies to teach character and ethics. He has also contributed genealogical articles and several book forewords for historical and genealogical publications; he regularly presents at national historical and genealogical conferences and events.

Catherine Allgor is the president of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Previously, she had been the Nadine and Robert Skotheim Director of Education at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA, and a former Professor of History and UC Presidential Chair at the University of California, Riverside.

Produced by GBH Forum Network in partnership with Boston Public Library

PAST EVENTS

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