MY VILLAGE, STURBRIDGE by Gary Bowen

MY VILLAGE, STURBRIDGE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Twenty-five wood engravings of Old Sturbridge Village, ""done in the manner of the time"" and as if by a (fictitious) young apprentice named True Mason, are presented here with commentary by True, purportedly submitting the portfolio to (actual) printer/publisher Isaiah Thomas in order to continue his apprenticeship. Bowen's appended note explains that the real Old Sturbridge Village is a new (1936) entity, actually assembled from various early 19th-century buildings and artifacts, but this projects it as a working community--where True shops at Asa Knight's new store (""we have found his Shaker seeds to be of exceptional quality"") and visits the Quaker meetinghouse and his own church, where his mother buys leisure by taking her wool to the mill for carding, where men gather in the tavern (seen through the window as True has been admonished not to enter), and where Silas Freeman has the only house with indoor running water. This is not a fullfledged recreation like the Bernheims' photo-illustrated Growing Up in OM New England (1971), but a tidy, faithfully crafted look-in in the spirit of the museum.

Pub Date: Oct. 22nd, 1977
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux