FRAMINGHAM – Author Elizabeth F. Fideler will speak about her most recent book, Margaret Pearmain Welch (1893-1984) concerning the life of the proper Bostonian, activist, pacifist and reformer Wednesday night at the Christa McAuliffe branch library.
While recently reading several biographies about famous women, Fideler noticed a reoccuring theme of the authors calling “for more more attention to the stories of interesting but ‘neglected’ women.”
According to Fideler, while considering this theme for her next book, Margaret Pearmain Welch, immediately came to mind.
Though Fideler knew Welch little, she admired her greatly.
“I particularly admired how she acted on her convictions, for example as a pacifist. And I share her enthusiasm for gardening and appreciation for beautiful music,” Fideler said.
According to Fideler, her story “illustrates the the social history of a bygone era.” Though she was raised on Beacon Hill with Proper Bostonian values, Welch also fought for women’s suffrage, reproductive rights and monetary reform. In addition, she also co-founded the Quaker meeting in Framingham, supported land-conservation and was an environmental activist.
One of the aspects of her life that Fideler found most intriguing was the family drama. According to the author, Welchwent through several divorces and marriages, as well as personal tragedies.
“I was surprised that Margaret dropped out of Radcliffe to marry her first husband, yet in her eighties could march with the Class of 1915. And the divorces that preceded her second marriage were considered scandalous; she and E. Sohier Welch were ostracized from Boston society for a while,” Fideler said.
Fideler spent approximately three years on the completion of her most recent book, including research, writing and reaching out to various presses. According to the author, research included reading letters, fragments of memoirs, family histories, conducting interviews and visiting various sites and libraries.
One such site visit included a trip to Welch’s country house, the 1787 Nixon House on Edmands Road in Framingham.
“Early on I interviewed the previous owners of the Nixon House, Laurie Evans and Dick Daly,” Fideler said, “Then I interviewed the current owners, who graciously showed me around and gave me access to the files about the house that the Dalys had compiled.” According to Fideler, a protective covenant has prevented any ‘unfortunate’ changes from being made to the historic piece of property.
Fideler explained that the book was written for all general audience members. She also believes that the book can be enjoyed by “college and graduate students interested in history, sociology, social change.” She added that the most rewarding part of being an author is seeing all of the hard work come to fruition and having readers who describe what the most meaningful part of the piece was for them, while the most difficult part is finding the right publisher.
Her plans for the future include updating the findings from her two books about “older workers bypassing conventional retirement age and staying on the job”, Women Still at Work (2012, and paperback in 2017) and Men Still at Work. In fact, Fideler has already started the interviewing process, talking to older working men and women.
The talk about Margaret Pearmain Welch (1892-1984) will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of the McAuliffe branch library.
Individuals looking to purchase Fideler’s newest work can do so by going to firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 541-344-1528, or going to Amazon.com. On Amazon, readers can also purchase the Kindle edition of the book.
Fideler will also be selling copies of the book at the McAuliffe Branch Library at her talk.
What did you want to be growing up? A cowgirl.
College & Degree: EdD (doctorate in administration, planning, and social policy) from the Harvard Graduate School of Education
Career before coming an author: Education researcher and senior manager of non-profit organizations
What book are you reading right now: Biography of Laura Ingalls Wilder – Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser
Favorite author/book: For Framingham Reads Together 2018, our library’s “one book, one community” initiative planned for this April, we’ve selected Paulette Jiles’ News of the World, and I’m very enthusiastic about that choice! Another book I enjoyed a while ago is Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See
What’s more difficult, spelling or punctuation?: Neither is a problem for me
Tips for aspiring authors: Choose someone or something that holds your interest so you stay motivated over the long haul