Author John Hanson will give a talk on Reading Early Epitaphs in the Stockbridge
Cemetery on February 5, from 3-4 pm, in the Bement Room at the Stockbridge Library.
Hanson has been collecting and studying early New England epitaph verse for
years. In this talk, he will share some outstanding examples on old stones in the
Stockbridge Cemetery and discuss their sources, including scripture, hymnody, poetry,
and original work composed for a particular individual. He is the author of Reading the Gravestones in Old New England.
The talk will consider how eighteenth-century Stockbridge residents might have
accessed the source texts and incorporated them into their spiritual lives.
Hanson will also discuss what these early New Englanders’ very personal
choices of memorial verse tell us about their attitudes towards life, death, and eternity.
John Hanson is a Williamstown native, now living in Cambridge and Tyringham.
He received his AB in English and American Literature from Harvard; when not
exploring old burial grounds he is an executive at an Internet services company.
He is the author of Reading the Gravestones of Old New England (McFarland,
2021), and has published and spoken extensively on the topic.
The event is free and open to the public.
Proof of vaccination and masks required to attend.
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