Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of New England
Website URL
Shakers, Anti-Shaker activism, 19th-century sensational fiction, factory girls, textile factory operatives (19th c), Breach of Promise lawsuits, heart balm, Gilded Age women, women's history, 19th-century girlhood, mistress, archives, archival research
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

As a high school student, I was bored by history classes that featured long lists of dates, names of military men, and the battles they fought. I wondered then if anyone like me ever did anything in history? Fast forward 40 years. I am a Professor of History and co-founder of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine. I am intrigued by the stories of ordinary women who come to face unusual events. I have written on an early 19th-c. activist who campaigned against the Shakers to retrieve her children; a mill girl who died from a botched abortion; and an ambitious, but poor, young woman who became  the mistress to a US congressman. Now I’m up at the blackboard: I teach courses on women’s history and archival research methods.

My books include The Murder of Mary Bean and Other Stories (Kent State Univ. Press), recipient of book awards from the New England Historical Association and the Northeast Popular Culture Association, and, Shaking the Faith (Palgrave) which received a book award from the Communal Studies Association. In addition to articles for scholarly journals, I also share my work with a wider audience in magazines such as DownEast and Historic New England.

I live in 200 year old (often drafty) house in Maine with my husband, a rare books dealer. Every time we engage in home repair we hope an old diary or cache of letters will fall out of a nook in the rafters or be discovered within a wall. To date all we have found are old nails and mice skeletons.

Recent Publications

“More than a Congressman’s Mistress: Ambition and Scandal in the Life of Madeleine Pollard,” The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 115 (Summer 2017): 313-348.

“Making History, Empowering Students with Wikipedia,” Guest Blog, Wikipeida Education Foundation, June 22, 2016,       

“Fifty Shades of Chambray,” DownEast (June 2015): 70-73, 108-109.

“’Not Ruined, but Hindered’: Rethinking Scandal, Re-examining Transatlantic Sources, and Recovering Madeleine Pollard,”                Legacy 31, no. 2 (2014): 300-310.

“Foreword” to Agnes Parker [Jane Armstrong Tucker], The Real Madeleine Pollard (G.W. Dillingham, 1894). E-book                 republished by the Lexington (Ky.) Public Library, 2014.

Media Coverage
“C-Span BookTV,” on Shaking the Faith, as part of C-Span Cities Tours; “207,” WCSH (NBC TV affiliate), on “50 Shades of Chambray” ; Several appearances on public radio in Maine, New Hampshire, Australia.
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century
Expertise by Topic
Book History, Libraries & Archives, Public History, Urban History, Women