Katharine Kittredge: "Chasing the Ghost of Melesina Trench" April 17, Friends 304 12:15-1:00pm

04/15/2014

Contributed by Katharine Kittredge

In the summer of 2002, Katharine Kittredge was doing research in the Hampshire Record Office (Winchester, UK) when she stumbled upon a profoundly moving document: an 1807 journal describing the life and sudden death of a young child.  Intrigued, she embarked on a quest to learn more about the journal’s author, the Anglo-Irish diarist Melesina Trench (1768-1827).

Professor Kittredge's twelve-year search has involved lost documents, database “irregularities,” mysterious e-mails from far-flung descendants, and the discovery of a truly bizarre work of early science fiction.  It has yielded not only a full picture of a remarkable woman’s life, but also some cautionary tales about trusting archival records, databases, and the "accepted" history of an age.

Please feel free to eat your lunch during the talk.

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