“Ordinary women do extraordinary things,” said author and award-winning historian Kate Clifford Larson.
Continued Larson, “We don’t have enough stories about women. As an American historian, there are so many women in our American story that we don’t know about, and we should. I don’t need to tell the stories of men; there are plenty of people out there telling their stories. Women need their stories told – women of color, indigenous women, women of different abilities – they all need to have their stories told because they are part of the fabric and the history of this country and have helped shape the way it is today.”
Larson will be telling Rosemary Kennedy’s previously untold story through her book, “Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter,” with Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ) customers at a virtual event hosted on March 23. This will be a signature event hosted during the Library System’s March-based Women’s History Month program series.
Larson was able to research and intensely explore Rosemary’s life through her own words following the release of journals, letters, and other family papers to the Kennedy Library in Massachusetts.
“I feel so fortunate to have been able to research her life and write about her,” said Larson. “I mean, what an incredible story. This girl was part of that famous family and all we knew is that she had a lobotomy and how horrible that was. I wanted to know what happened to her. What was her life like in that family? It turns out, everyone loved her deeply and profoundly. By researching and writing her life, and putting her at the center of that Kennedy family story, you see that family very differently.”
Continued Larson, “To have Rosemary’s own letters really helped me understand her and her intellectual abilities. There is so much joy, sadness, and pain in her letters. I needed that to be able to write about her and connect with her – and to help my readers connect with her, too; to see her as a real human being. Then to combine those with letters from her family members, parents, doctors, teachers, and specialists that interacted with her – I mean that was magic for me.”
Larson, a prolific writer and researcher, had one important piece of advice for aspiring writers – write about someone you like! “I don’t ever want to write about someone I don’t like again,” said Larson. “Mary Surratt – she was wicked. I didn’t like her.”
Larson’s other biographical works include:
- “The Assassin’s Accomplice: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln”
- “Walk With Me: A Biography of Fannie Lou Hamer”
- “Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero”
If you are interested in further celebrating Women’s History Month this March, explore: Rosie’s Mom – Forgotten Woman of the First World War on March 2 – https://sclsnj.libnet.info/event/7059894; My Journey into the World of Victorian Women Doctors presented by Author Olivia Campbell on March 8 – https://sclsnj.libnet.info/event/7003178; “The Silver Swan: In Search of Doris Duke” presented by Author Sallie Bingham on March 21 – https://sclsnj.libnet.info/event/6986615; and more.
To discover all SCLSNJ has to offer, visit SCLSNJ.org or connect with SCLSNJ on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.