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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Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Wilson on Stepfamilies in Boston, 2 Sept.

On Wednesday, 2 September, Lisa Wilson will speak at the New England Historic Genealogical Society on the topic of her latest book, A History of Stepfamilies in Early America.

Here’s the purpose of this book:
Stepfamilies are not a modern phenomenon, but despite this reality, the history of stepfamilies in America has yet to be fully explored. In the first book-length work on the topic, Lisa Wilson examines the stereotypes and actualities of colonial stepfamilies and reveals them to be important factors in early United States domestic history.

Remarriage was a necessity in this era, when war and disease took a heavy toll, all too often leading to domestic stress, and cultural views of stepfamilies during this time placed great strain on stepmothers and stepfathers. Wilson shares the stories of real stepfamilies in early New England, investigating the relationship between prejudice and lived experience, and, in the end, offers a new way of looking at family units throughout history and the cultural stereotypes that still affect stepfamilies today.
Lisa Wilson is the Charles J. MacCurdy Professor of American History at Connecticut College. As well as being a member of the N.E.H.G.S., she’s a stalwart of the Massachusetts Historical Society’s Boston Area Early American History Seminar series [here’s the schedule for that series in the coming year]. Her previous books have been about widows in Pennsylvania and New England men’s domestic and family lives.

This talk is scheduled to begin at 6:00 P.M. It will be followed by a book-signing. register for this free event, use this page.

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