Saturday, December 28, 2019

Grandfather's Chair: True Stories from History and Biography by Nathaniel Hawthorne

For the four little cousins, Grandfather's chair is just a regular fixture of the home---that is, until he begins to tell about its history. Grandfather's chair had traveled through New England's history for 300 years and had many stories to pass along. The children learn about the history of the colonies through biographies of famous colonists---all of whom had connections to this one unique chair.

My husband bought this antique 1916ish copy for me for Christmas, along with a few other good ones. I really loved this book! Everything I know about the Puritans I learned from Nathaniel Hawthorne! Haha! This one is a history of New England with each chapter being about a different historical colonist. The fictional part is that each figure owned this chair at some point and at the end we find out how it ended up in Grandfather’s possession. I can’t get enough of Hawthorne...hands down my favorite male author. For more Hawthorne fangirling read here and here and here.

There was so much great information here that has either been lost to history or just considered "outdated". I really enjoyed reading about John Eliot who translated the Bible into an Indian language. Upon further research, I learned that his and others like it are now being used to help modern native Americans rediscover the languages of their ancestors.

I also didn't know that Cotton Mather headed up the first smallpox inoculations in America. Research didn't reflect very much about that. Wikipedia says the first inoculations were discovered almost 100 years later than that. Seems the Puritans thought it was a judgement from God that shouldn't be messed with.

I found it funny that he inserted little book critiques or plugs for fellow authors such as those for the biographers of Cotton Mather, Benjamin Franklin, and others; as well as his good friend Mr. Longfellow.

I can't wait to read more by this fantastic Victorian era author!

1 comment:

  1. It sounds good. I am glad you had the opportunity to acquire this book!