Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Lecture- "Cemetery Guidebooks and Forgotten Women" is this Sunday, June 6th at 12pm ET

Authoress written on tombstone

Many historic cemeteries include self-guided maps and visitor guides. These guidebooks are heavily focused on military heroes, founding fathers, political leaders, and the who’s who in that region’s history. I quickly scan guides to find the famous or infamous females who helped build a region’s history. More often than not, from the dozens of entries, there are usually only a few women mentioned rendering the majority of women invisible. In 2020, I made a point to create my own guidebook. 

My first presentation about my research, "Cemetery Guidebooks and Forgotten Women" is this Sunday, June 6th at 12pm ET. This FREE lecture is presented as part of The Life & Death Online Virtual Event, June 4-6, 2021. A unique event exploring matters of life, death and beyond...For more details about the LIFE & DEATH ONLINE VIRTUAL EVENT, visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/lifeanddeathevent2021


My research showcases forty-four women writers buried in Virginia cemeteries who have had an impact on local American history. Gothic novelists, writers of Westerns, and African American poets, the women writers in this collection include those who were widely popular during their lifetimes, those whose work may not have lasted the test of time due to the nature or style of the writing, those who still show up in college anthologies, and those whose works were made into popular movies.

The profiles include a Pulitzer Prize winner, the first woman writer to be named Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the bestselling mystery author often called "the American Agatha Christie," the first woman to top the best-seller lists in the twentieth century, the first Virginian African American women to be included in the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, the writer so popular that when she died it was the first time that a court ruled that a deceased person’s name was taxable, one of the “Devil Diarists” of Winchester, wives of Civil War leaders who completely reinvented themselves after the war, suffragettes, authors of children’s literature, and even a poet who received praise from Edgar Allan Poe.

While my research is specific to Virginia, it is also universal in that I hope it inspires others to seek out the women who had an impact on their region’s history. A wealth can be found standing in the very locations where these women lived and were buried.

collection of cemetery maps
Part of my collection of cemetery maps and guidebooks 

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