September 21: James Freeman
“Clarence Hawkes (1869-1954), the Most Widely Read Author from the Pioneer Valley”
Clarence Hawkes was physically disabled at a young age; part of one leg was amputated when he was nine, and he became blind four years later after a gun discharged in his face during a hunting accident. Apparently destined for a life of sad passivity, he overcame these traumas. Hawkes composed nearly 60 novels, poetry collections, essays and nature studies. His works found uncounted readers in America and, via translation, among French, Germans, Finns, Chinese, Japanese and the blind. Calvin Coolidge kept Hawkes’ picture on his desk; Time praised him; United Press Services alerted its 1400 newspapers on his birthday. More recently, Governor Patrick proclaimed Clarence Hawkes Day in Massachusetts. Dr. Freeman’s talk will explain his phenomenal popularity and ponder why he has slipped from public notice.
Jim Freeman, professor of English at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, is the author of Clarence Hawkes, America’s Blind Naturalist and the World He Lived In and has written on topics as diverse as John Milton, Joan of Arc, Donald Duck and the Angel of Hadley.
Join us with your lunch in hand. We will provide coffee, tea or cider for you as you listen to the presentations. The 30-minute program will begin promptly at 12:15 with seating and beverages ready just before noon. The lectures are free and everyone is welcome to attend. Mark your calendars for this fall’s upcoming “History Bites” presentations! View schedule