Wit and Wisdom: The Forgotten Literary Life of New England Villages

Presenter: Jo Radner

Whatever did New Englanders do on long winter evenings before cable, satellite and the internet? In the decades before and after the Civil War, our rural ancestors used to create neighborhood events to improve their minds.  Community members male and female would compose and read aloud homegrown, handwritten literary "newspapers" full of keen verbal wit. Sometimes serious, sometimes sentimental but mostly very funny, these "newspapers" were common in villages across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont and revealed the hopes, fears, humor and surprisingly daring behavior of our forebears. Jo Radner shares excerpts from her forthcoming book about hundreds of these "newspapers" and provides examples from villages in your region. This program is available as an in-person or online presentation. 

Event Details


Thursday, April 20, 2023 6:00pm


Portsmouth Historical Society at Discover Portsmouth
10 Middle Street
Portsmouth NH 03801

Hosted By:

Portsmouth Historical Society

Contact Info:

Portsmouth Historical Society, 603-436-8433