Tuesday, April 19, 2016

April Author Talk: Stephen Kendrick

The Lively Place: Mount Auburn, America’s First Garden Cemetery, and Its Revolutionary and Literary Residents (2016)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016—Noon to 1:00 pm
State Library of Massachusetts—Room 341, Massachusetts State House

According to the history of the cemetery on its own website, Bostonians founded Mount Auburn in 1831 for both practical and aesthetic reasons: to solve an urban land use problem created by an increasing number of burials in the city and to create a tranquil and beautiful place where families could commemorate their loved ones with tasteful works of art in an inviting and natural setting. The public flocked to the new cemetery and Mount Auburn quickly became the model for the American "rural" cemetery movement.

Today Mount Auburn continues its historic dual role as a sacred site and pleasure ground, serving as both an active cemetery and a "museum" preserving nearly two centuries of changing attitudes about death and commemoration and changing tastes in architecture and landscape design. Recognized as one of the most significant designed landscapes in the country, Mount Auburn was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2003.

The Reverend Stephen Kendrick, senior minister at the First Church in Boston, Unitarian Universalist, has just published a new history of the cemetery (Beacon Press, 2016). He will describe his research and talk about what makes the cemetery one of the most beautiful places in Massachusetts.

Reverend Kendrick’s previous publications cover a wide range of topics. He is the author or co-author of Holy Clues: The Gospel According to Sherlock Holmes; Sarah’s Long Walk: The Free Blacks of Boston and How Their Struggle for Equality Changed America; Douglass and Lincoln; and the novel Night Watch.

Please join us for an Author Talk with Stephen Kendrick on Tuesday, April 26, at noon at the State Library. The talk is free and open to the public, and copies of the book The Lively Place will be available for purchase and signing at the event. Please register online and join us on April 24 at the State Library.