Cept for a proof reading and a serious cover, the Witchcraft at Andover is done. I had an argument with myself regarding the title…Witchcraft IN Andover? or Witchcraft AT Andover as in the original chapter name. The first one sounds normal, the second one sounds more dramatic, I didn’t really care, so i went with what the chapter was called…i did more looking at the 600 page Sketches of Andover..that’s gonna suck, but i will keep chipping away at it.
Speaking of Andover I am back to what i was SUPPOSED to be working on before I went off on the Witchcraft tangent. Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward was a popular author in the 19th, well i don’t know how popular she is outside of the area, but her works are technically LOCAL, for the most part they are fiction and juvenile works but CHAPTERS FROM A LIFE is her memoir. I had glanced at it when I published her short story, Tenth of January, as a stand alone volume. The memoir actually discusses the evolution of the story. Great for the Forward.
It was on my to do list but i was distracted by books about what i call ‘real’ people, child soldiers, escaped slaves, school boys…why was i not thinking that she was any less real? Because famous people like Celia Thaxter and Harriet Beecher Stow show up in her memoir? that’s reverse snobby of me, right?
So I pulled it out and started transcribing it, and I think it will fit in nicely with my SERIES of Merrimack Valley Voices, in fact she is writing about the same period as all my other authors. Isn’t that odd? This cluster of works are all covering 1850s to 1880s. I’m starting to think there must have been a something about the universe at that time, that made it the NORM for people to write their stories.
Obviously the jumpstart that printing technology got in the mid 19th century made cheap books plentiful, perhaps that opened a deep chasm that all the printers in the land were constantly looking for new material to publish to feed the demand. Makes you think.