J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Old North As You’ve Never Seen It

Last night I went to Bob Damon’s talk at the Old South Meeting House, part of the Paul Revere Memorial Association’s lectures on the legacy of Paul Revere’s ride and “Paul Revere’s Ride,” the poem.

He showed half of this stereograph from the New York Public Library’s picture collection. (Click on the double-thumbnail above for a webpage that will let you enlarge and pan around the image.) It shows Old North Church, where he works, as it was decorated for the centennial of 1875, with a big painting of a man about to hang two lanterns in the spire, and an only slightly smaller painting of Revere on his horse. Those Victorians had such subdued taste, didn’t they?

The last lecture in this series is next Wednesday at 6:30 P.M.: Prof. Jill Lepore of Harvard and the New Yorker, discussing the various political and cultural ways that Americans have used our Revolutionary heritage.

In other Old North news, I hear that Alex Goldfeld will be signing copies of his book The North End: A Brief History of Boston’s Oldest Neighborhood at the Old North Gift Shop on Saturday, 25 September, 1:00 to 4:00 P.M.

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