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    Thursday, May 30, 2024

    Lecture series features Connecticut authors discussing local history and culture

    New London -- The Thames River Heritage Park 2023 winter lecture series, “Stories from the Park,” will be held at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum and will begin on Jan. 4.

    In the six-part series, Connecticut authors will talk about significant local history and culture.

    The talks will focus on local Gilded Age newsmakers, Revolutionary War turncoat and Norwich native Benedict Arnold, the Jackson family, whose members were enslaved in New London during the colonial period, and other subjects topical to Connecticut audiences.

    The lectures are scheduled on Wednesdays from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Lyman Allyn. Those attending in-person will have an opportunity to meet the authors, purchase books and have them signed. Light hors d’oeuvres and wine will be served during the reception.

    Lecture details are as follows:

    Jan. 4: Gail B. MacDonald, New London resident and author of “Morton F. Plant and the Connecticut Shoreline: Philanthropy in the Gilded Age,” will speak on “Morton Plant: Gilded Age Gossip, Giving and the (income) Gap.”

    Jan. 25: Lisa Hall Brownell, a Ledyard resident, will speak on “Love and Brutality: The Mysterious Saga of Gallows Road.” She is the author of “Gallows Road,” a work of historical fiction inspired by colonial-era events in New London.

    Feb. 15: Allegra DiBonaventura will address her book “For Adam’s Sake: A Family Saga in Colonial New England.” DiBonaventura is associate dean for graduate academic support at Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Her book focuses on powerful colonial New London families such as the Winthrops along with powerless ones such as the Jacksons, who were enslaved.

    March 8: Eric Lehman, an associate professor of English at Bridgeport University, will speak on “Benedict Arnold and the Burning of New London.” He is the author of 22 books, two of which were finalists for the Connecticut Book Award. His most recent book is “Homegrown Terror: Benedict Arnold and the Burning of New London.”

    March 29: Stephen Olbrys Gencarella, a resident of Lyme, will talk about some of Connecticut’s legends, ghost stories and buried treasures as featured in his book “Spooky Trails and Tall Tales Connecticut: Hiking the State’s Legends, Hauntings and History.”

    April 19: Judy Benson and Roxanne Steed will talk about “Earth and Sky: Finding Inspiration Through Nature Friendship,” of which they are author and illustrator, respectively.

    Both in-person and virtual attendance is offered. Seating is limited, so advance registration is required. Interested participants may register at the Thames River Heritage Park website www.thamesriverheritagepark.org.

    A discounted cost of $10 for members of the Lyman Allyn or the Thames River Heritage Park, or $15 for the general public is offered to those who register by 5 p.m. on the Thursday immediately prior to a lecture. The regular cost is $15 for members of the Lyman Allyn or Thames River Heritage Park, or $20 for the general public. Park or museum memberships are available at the time of registration.

    For more information, contact Cara Brenan cbrennan@thamesriverheritagepark.org at Thames River Heritage Park.

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