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In celebration of Women's History Month, the Poe Museum is honored to welcome Dr. Les Harrison, chair of the Virginia Commonwealth University English Department,on Wednesday, March 22nd, from 6:oopm-7:30pm in the Poe Museum's Enchanted Garden. Dr. Harrison will deliver a lecture on the life and work of author, abolitionist, and women's rights activist Lydia Maria Child. Continue reading to find out more about this program.

"Child's Play: Lydia Maria Child, Edgar Allan Poe, and the selling of Literature." In an age of literary "puffing," the practice of praising books based on their author's gender or political affiliation, Poe's harshness as a critic earned him the nickname of the "Tomahawk Man." An intriguing exception to the savagery of Poe's pen is the New England author Lydia Maria Child. Largely forgotten today, Child's blend of sentimentalism and reform-minded literature should, to the mind of the modern reader, earned her stinging rebuke from the "Tomahawk Man." Yet in both his review of her work and in the Literati of New York, Poe praised her as an "author of high merit" distinguished by her "graceful and brilliant imagination." This talk will examine the life and career of Lydia Maria Child, one of the most accomplished writers of the 1830s and 40s, to uncover those qualities which recommended her to Poe, and which led admirers to refer to her as "the First Lady of the Republic," before her eventual erasure from America's literary history.

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