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The author and her son.  Photograph from author's collection.

Nantucket Women Book Discussion March 3rd at Mitchell’s Book Corner

Returning to my old stomping grounds.  MBC has asked if I would be willing to do a discussion concerning my book on Nantucket women, The Daring Daughters of Nantucket Island: How Island Women from the Seventeenth through the Nineteenth Centuries Lived a Life Contrary to Other American Women.  It will take place at 6PM on Thursday, March 3rd.  It’s always fun to banter about ideas concerning people and the island throughout history because you learn so much.  Also especially nice because March is women’s history month.  You don’t have to read the book, just come by.  It’s a great way to celebrate Mimi Beman too – a descendant of the Mitchell family.  Mimi was descended from Maria’s Mitchell’s youngest brother, Henry.  She gave me my first year-round job.  I worked summers for the Maria Mitchell Association in the Mitchell House but I was not curator back in 1995 – that happened in 1999 – and I wanted to stay on island but had not figured out what to do after graduating from college.  Mimi walked into the ʼSconset Market where I moonlighted several nights a week and offered me a job.  How could I refuse?  She figured I was “in” with the Mitchells having been at MMA since the 1980s – yes I started young!  And what’s not to love being surrounded by books and super strong women who worked at Mitchell's?

The Nation of Nantucket

The “Nation of Nantucket” was coined by Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1847.  It was used by Edward Byers as the title of his 1987 publication on Nantucket society and politics from 1660 – 1820.  Both men spoke of the isolation and uniqueness of Nantucket and that such a title was fitting for our tiny spit of land far out at sea.  I, too, feel that it is appropriate – on many levels.  I use it as the title of this column because here I intend to regale you with all sorts of stories about Nantucketers, island life, island institutions, and the history (good and bad) of a small island that had an enormous influence on the world.  My focus will be mainly on Nantucket women, of course, but I will add some other things of interest to me – and I hope you – as well.  Stay tuned and to read my blog for the Maria Mitchell Association go to “Maria Mitchell’s Attic.”  And to read more about Nantucket's daring daughters, check out my new book The Daring Daughters of Nantucket Island: How Island Women from the Seventeenth through the Nineteenth Centuries Lived a Life Contrary to Other American Women available at island bookstores and on Nantucket Chronicle's Marketplace.

Jascin N. Leonardo Finger has served as curator of the Mitchell House at the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association since 1999.  She holds a Master’s in History.  Her passions are her family, all things Nantucket, good food, weaving, and photographing historic architecture.  The island has been a part of her life since she was introduced to it at age 1½ by her parents.  She lives year-round on the island with her husband, a naval architect, their son, and their Siberian Husky who takes them on long walks from one glorious end of the island to the other.