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Boston Lit District’s Literary Lunch Break: Susan Wilson

June 19, 2015 | 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

In March of 1877, humorist Mark Twain was staying at the Parker House (School Street by Tremont) in room 168. A reporter from the Globe entered Twain’s room, shuttled in by a porter. After a pause of several moments, Twain swiveled around in his large easy chair and faced his visitor. With a local newspaper in hand and puffing on a large cigar, he observed to the reporter, “You see for yourself that I’m pretty near heaven—not theologically, of course, but by the hotel standard.” Inspired by Twain, Susan Wilson named her anecdotal and lavishly illustrated new book on the history of the Omni Parker House Heaven, By Hotel Standards. Fascinating stories from that book will make up her talk at South Station, including tales of the illustrious Saturday Club, which regularly drew to the hotel some of the greatest luminaries of the Golden Age of American Literature—like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and John Greenleaf Whittier. (Guys like Ho Chi Minh and Malcolm X worked there later on.) Along with being an award-winning author and former Boston Globe reporter, Wilson is a highly sought-after photographer. She’s also one of the coolest, nicest people you’ll ever want to meet and played a significant role in helping to bring shape to the Boston Literary District. She knows everything about Boston’s literary history.


June 19, 2015
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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South Station
700 Atlantic Avenue
Boston, 02110 United States

Did You Know?

Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.