Back to All Events

Nineteenth Century Publishers and the Birth of the Beach Read

Professor Donna Harrington-Lueker will speak at Otis Library on Saturday, June 22, at 1pm in the Millie and Martin Shapiro Community Room.  She will discuss her new book, Books for Idle Hours: Nineteenth-Century Publishing and the Rise of Summer Reading (University of Massachusetts Press 2019, $29.95).  Drawing upon letters, diaries, archival materials, and an array of 19th-century popular novels set at summer resorts, the author traces the ways in which 19th-century readers, authors, and publishing houses came to frame summer reading not as a disreputable indulgence but as a respectable pastime, especially for the woman reader.

Donna Harrington-Lueker is a professor in the Department of English and Communications at Salve Regina University in Newport, RI.  A former magazine writer and editor, her research interests include 19-century print culture, women’s magazines, and the alternative press.  For more information on the author, visit

This is a free program; registration is required.A light lunch will be served.To register, call Julie at 860-889-2365, ext. 128, or register on the library’s website calendar.