In the year 1629 there appeared on the streets of London a pamphlet “printed for Michael Sparke, dwelling in Greene-Arbor, at the sign of the Blue Bible.” The pamphlet, in the English of the day, bore the title: The Booke of Meery Riddles, together with proper Questions and witty Prouerbs to make pleasant pastime, no lesse usefull than behoouefull for any yong man or child to know if he be quick-witted, or no.
The author walks us through literary Boston at its zenith. But Boston being what it is, we also come across the Revolution, ward politics, and the great fire.
Like three Bostonians out of four, I live on a site that was originally underwater. My house is on River Street, an alleyway that was built for stables at the bottom of Beacon Hill in the middle of the nineteenth century.
The first settlers marked the borders of their lives with simple fences that grew ever more elaborate over the centuries
Good fences make good neighbors,” wrote Robert Frost, and he meant that fences did more than just enclose space; like his woods and roads, they bounded a social and psychological landscape.
Walden is here, of course; but so too is Fanny Farmer’s first cookbook
America is not a nation of readers, yet books have had a deep and lasting effect on its national life.
Before there were Western states, there were public lands—over a billion acres irrevocably reserved for the people of the United States. The Sagebrush Rebels are the most recent in a series of covetous groups bent on “regaining” what was never theirs.