Borden Spaces and Places

The Eyes of Lizzie Borden

If the eyes are the windows of the soul, then much could be said about Lizzie’s.  In the eight known photographs of her, there is only one in which she is looking directly at the camera.  Other photos show a left or right profile at various angles.  According to the arrest book, Lizzie’s eyes are pale- gray.  Many have described her eyes as “unsettling”, unnerving, in their steady gaze.  This photo was  taken of Lizzie in the summer of 1893 on the porch of the Covel house on Farewell Street in Newport, RI, where Lizzie sojourned after her acquittal.  Maybe Fall River was a little too hot to hold her that summer.  

Still, this is a riveting photo of a content and satisfied woman of 33, posing with a Mona Lisa smile,  just a little defiant in stance behind her chair.  The house on Farewell St. is there still, at the far west end of Farewell street right next door to the Munson School, and the current owner, although a little weary of being told who slept at her house, is tolerant of Lizziephiles who wish to take a photo. One can only wonder at the thoughts in Lizzie’s head that long ago summer of 1893. . . .

The house on Farewell Street

Leave a Reply