Book Talk: Emilie Loring’s Biographer, Patti Bender

The introduction of Happy Landings to the world has begun. Five weeks in, we have a feature article, two reviews, and one book talk accomplished.

Review by Martha Wolfe on Boston’s The Arts Fuse

You will find links to all reviews and articles on the “Book and Events” page. I am especially glad for these published lines:

And so, 20 years, 45 notebooks and 5,000 pages of notes later, the biography was written.

Jennifer Osborn, Ellsworth American

I found the book fascinating as a social history of 20th century Boston, full of familiar names and details about my city.  I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of Emilie’s friendships with two other writers, Clara Endicott Sears and Sara Ware Bassett.

Constance Martin, The Staircase Wit

The biographer makes her case with evident joy, drawing on wide-ranging research to supply a lucid, sympathetic homage to Loring’s indefatigable determination and sunny-side up sensibility.

Martha Wolfe, The Arts Fuse

Book Talk

I was ready to be surprised at the first book talk, which was good, because that’s just what happened. The most challenging surprise was arriving at the venue to learn that the projector had no cables. Uh oh.

I brainstormed solutions… “If we can’t find a working cable, maybe I can put my laptop on this red book cart, and we can all cluster around it…” A helpful bookstore worker ran home to her house and brought back a cable, but it was the wrong kind. We needed an HDMI-to-HDMI cable.

My friend Lynn came to the rescue. She was on her way to the bookstore, but she rerouted to my house, pulled off the HDMI cable that connected my TV and DVD player, and got it to the venue with five minutes to spare. Whew! Thank you, Lynn!

I’ve loved speaking in front of an audience for as long as I can remember. This audience was just right–longtime friends, colleagues, community members, and one of this blog’s readers, too. I can’t wait to take this “show” on the road to more towns and more venues.

Sixty slides seemed about right for the time we had. Of course, any one of them could launch a full discussion!

Born 1866, best-seller 100 years later

How is it possible that this little girl wrote so many books that were read by millions in the 1960s and 70s?!

There’s a story…

Turning points in her life begin to tell a story that wasn’t apparent from a bare listing of facts.

Emilie Loring’s life and works

Martha Wolfe’s review asks, “How does an author… fall into obscurity?”

Did she?

“Obscure” only means concealed. What if Emilie Loring is obscure in the way that an underground spring is, until someone sends down the right tap, and out it flows? What data determines who is obscure and who is not?

There are millions more Emilie Loring readers to be discovered.

We could think a long while on this topic. Maybe we can take up the discussion in a future “Happy Landings Book Club” meeting.

Meanwhile, I am busily creating presentations for Boston, Wellesley, the Cape (stay tuned!), Blue Hill, Brooklin, and Bar Harbor. If your travel plans bring you near, please come.

Dreaming of the Cape

Happy Landings!

10 thoughts on “Book Talk: Emilie Loring’s Biographer, Patti Bender

  1. Patti, Your presentation today in Barnstable was wonderful! I had never read any of Loring’s books and now and am both curious and inspired to read her books but also to read yours. I just ordered both your book and her Fair Tomorrow book about Cape Cod. The research, passion and dedication you have invested in Loring’s stories and life is impressive. Your attention to detail, presentation of facts and allowing Emilie’s words and voice to be heard too is especially appreciated. All best wishes. I will be in contact again after I read the books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Martine! I was impressed that you came, without having heard of Emilie Loring before. I was glad to meet you and share the walk after the talk.

      Thank you for ordering the biography. I’ll be eager to hear how you like it, and also, what you think of Fair Tomorrow. You know the Cape and will almost certainly recognize elements from there that go right past me. Happy reading!


  2. Aloha! I’m so pleased for your success. I want you to know that I always try to have a book I can savor until the end page. I am savoring your story. The last book I read this way was titled, “ The Lost Gardens of Heligan”. I then viewed a documentary of the gardens and it was quite impressive. Your writings have given me a greater understanding of the “why” of certain passages that Emilie described. This is impressive also. You have done much more research than I expected. I find it delightful! There are some names I am familiar with from the varied readings I have done over the years and it’s like finding a little sparkle of beach glass when they suddenly appear. I am thoroughly enjoying the walk through your story, like the walk through a path along the beach, finding many bits to inspire and give a happy feeling to my walk. Thank you for this gift of words, may you have continued success, aloha pam

    Sent from my iPad



  3. Congratulations on your first book talk of your biography of Emilie. I read it once and enjoyed it. I am going to read it again this summer to absorb details that I’m sure I missed. (We always learn more when we re-read a work.) I agree with Diane Welker that your book is well written and researched, with a passion for your subject–not an unthinking hagiography. Safe journey and Happy Landings!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your lovely book has been a revelation. I had only thought of Emilie Loring as a popular writer of the first half of the 20th century whose books appealed to me at a very young age. After 30 years of teaching high school literature and drama (now retired), I have been excited to recognize many familiar figures in this biography. The writing is professional, lucid, and passionate–a real pleasure to read. Best of luck to you on your tour.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Diane, for appreciating the greater depth to Emilie Loring and her context than what we knew from her books. Thank you, especially, for your comment on my writing. I worked hard on it, with multiple drafts and innumerable edits, and it’s a real satisfaction to feel that I have succeeded.


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