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Secure the Shadow: Victorian Spirit and Post-Mortem Photography

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Ghosts|Bethany Groff Dorau headshot

Date: October 2, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Cost: $10

Early photography had a magical quality, even for those who understood the science behind it. For many in the nineteenth century, the relationship between science and the supernatural was unclear. Sympathetic photographers and charlatans set up a brisk business “securing the shadow,” memorializing deceased loved ones or producing images purported to be from beyond the grave.

Join local historian Bethany Groff Dorau for illustrated exploration of Victorian photography from the moment of death and beyond.

Members: Free

Non-Members: $10.00

To reserve your spot for this panel please click here; email, or call 978-306-7003.

This is the final lecture in our Seven Lectures at Seven Gables Series. The 2019 exhibit, Pop! Goes The Gables explored how Hawthorne’s novel and our 1668 mansion have influenced pop culture over the centuries. The lecture series complements the many themes explored in that exhibit.


Bethany Groff Dorau is the author of A Newburyport Marine in World War I: The Life and Legacy of Eben Bradbury (June 2018, History Press), A Brief History of Old Newbury (History Press), and a primary contributor to the Defining Documents in American History Series.

She is the North Shore Regional Site Manager for Historic New England, based at the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm in Newbury, and a recipient of the Pioneer in Preservation Award from the Essex National Heritage Commission and the North of Boston CVB Leadership Award.

She has published articles in the New England Quarterly, the Encyclopedia of American History, and Historic New England Magazine. She holds an MA in History from the University of Massachusetts and lives in West Newbury with her family.


October 2, 2019
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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