The Lively Place: Mount Auburn, America's First Garden Cemetery, and Its Revolutionary and Literary Residents

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9780807066294: The Lively Place: Mount Auburn, America's First Garden Cemetery, and Its Revolutionary and Literary Residents
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The story of one of the Boston area’s most famous attractions, the Mount Auburn Cemetery, and how its founders and “residents” have influenced American culture

When Mount Auburn Cemetery was founded, in 1831, it revolutionized the way Americans mourned the dead by offering a peaceful space for contemplation. This cemetery, located not far from Harvard University, was also a place that reflected and instilled an imperative to preserve and protect nature in a rapidly industrializing culture—lessons that would influence the creation of Central Park, the cemetery at Gettysburg, and the National Parks system. Even today this urban wildlife habitat and nationally recognized hotspot for migratory songbirds continues to connect visitors with nature and serves as a model for sustainable landscape practices. Beyond Mount Auburn’s prescient focus on conservation, it also reflects the impact of Transcendentalism and the progressive spirit in American life seen in advances in science, art, and religion and in social reform movements. In The Lively Place, Stephen Kendrick celebrates this vital piece of our nation’s history, as he tells the story of Mount Auburn’s founding, its legacy, and the many influential Americans interred there, from religious leaders to abolitionists, poets, and reformers.

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About the Author:

Stephen Kendrick is senior minister at the First Church in Boston, Unitarian Universalist. He is the author or coauthor of Holy Clues: The Gospel According to Sherlock Holmes, Sarah’s Long Walk: The Free Blacks of Boston and How Their Struggle for Equality Changed America, Douglass and Lincoln, and the novel Night Watch.

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“Reading Stephen Kendrick’s The Lively Place is like having a séance with the great minds of New England’s past. From Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to Buckminster Fuller and Bernard Malamud, Harriet Jacobs and Julia Ward Howe to Mary Baker Eddy, they’re here as conversing, vibrant presences in Kendrick’s telling. Even if not buried in the nation’s oldest garden cemetery, eminences like Emerson and Thoreau pass through or, like Margaret Fuller, find representation in monuments. The Lively Place is both education and inspiration, like Mount Auburn Cemetery itself.”
—Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life

“In The Lively Place, Stephen Kendrick revives Emerson, Fuller, Howe, and other luminaries to take us on a delightful tour of a graveyard that is one of America’s most beautiful public spaces.”
—Eve LaPlante, author of Marmee & Louisa

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