Lectures & Exhibits
After years of watching grainy old VHS tape, the long-awaited DVD version of the Legend of Lizzie Borden with Elizabeth Montgomery is available through Amazon.com! Get ‘em while they’re hot! The 1975 version of the Borden tale is the best thing to date on film. http://www.amazon.com/Legend-Lizzie-Borden-Elizabeth-Montgomery/dp/B00HZVX14O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412913687&sr=8-1&keywords=Lizzie+Borden
Christmas came early this year for those who enjoy Fall River history and have an interest in the Borden case and the enigmatic Miss Lizzie. Parallel Lives was released this morning to the public. By 11: 30 a.m. a long line snaked its way down the pavement toward Maple Street and there was a feeling of restless expectation in the air as the noon hour approached. . A man came around the corner bearing two copies of the coveted tome as heads swiveled to catch a glimpse. A spontaneous outburst of appreciation went up from the crowd followed by many comments as to the SIZE of the massive tome.
No preview copies were released for reviewing to anyone, so it was with enormous excitement today’s release was anticipated. Beginning on Friday, the benefactors of the publication enjoyed a special gathering, followed by Saturday night’s annual Christmas Open House for members, and capping off an extraordinary weekend with today’s public release of the book, viewing of a special exhibit of materials featured in the book (cards, letters, gifts Lizzie presented to friends, etc.) and a tour of the Christmas decorations, always an annual treat.
The authors held court in the front parlor at a beautifully decorated table with a red rose Christmas arrangement, signing autographs and having photographs taken with visitors. On the lawn, on the stairs, and anywhere one could sit, people clutched their volume, looking eagerly through the pages. From all corners came appreciative little shrieks of excitement as never-before-seen photos were discovered, especially those showing Lizzie herself. Even those who vowed not to ruin the surprise until they could sit at leisure soon gave way to overwhelming curiosity and were soon leafing furiously through the pages. Some had driven hours to pick up their copies.
It would be presumptuous to attempt any sort of review of this major work until the whole was digested, therefore the Warps & Wefts review will be forthcoming in the near future. Suffice it to say, Parallel Lives is as plummy a Christmas pudding as anyone could ever wish for, chock full of juicy morsels, delicious facts and photos, fascinating history, surprises and many hours of enthralled reading. To reveal too much would be to ruin your own Christmas surprise- so-
Just spring to your sleigh, to your team give a whistle,
To Rock Street fly like the down of a thistle.
Parallel Lives is the gift sure to please, so take heed,
Happy holidays to all, and to all a good read!
If you are lucky enough to be near Camden, N.J. on June 23rd, you may wish to drop by the public library for a special presentation on the Borden case. The talk by Dr. Cornelia is one of the Camden library’s “American Cultural Journey” lectures through the summer. http://knox.villagesoup.com/place/story/the-strange-case-of-lizzie-borden-slide-talk-june-23/408456
Lizzie’s appeal spans far and wide as Bed and Breakfast owner Lee Ann Wilber visits the Taunton Elks Lodge on June 1st. http://www.tauntongazette.com/education/x242751470/-Lizzie-Borden-Night-at-Taunton-Elks-Club
The Borden house is hosting guests from the TODAY show this afternoon. The filming, which was to have taken place last Wednesday, was postponed until today. The segment is slated to air sometime in May. The crew will be filming at the house, with an interview by Barbara Borden Morrissey and will then relocate to the Fall River Historical Society to film case artifacts and to discuss the upcoming Parallel Lives. The crew picked a beautiful day to be in the city, with high temps and plenty of sunshine.
Chances are if you Goggle Lizzie Borden under the “News” heading, you will find several pages of stories on the Chloe Sevigny HBO project for a four hour mini-series, including stories in Polish, French, Russian and Italian! And if you live in Connecticut, Rhode Island or Massachusetts, tonight at 6 p.m., Channel 10 news jumped on the promotion band wagon. With all of the very positive buzz and excitement, it is hard to believe Tom Hanks and Playtone would change their mind about producing the four -hour series. To view the Channel 10 clip, http://www2.turnto10.com/entertainment/2011/mar/17/sevigny-may-play-lizzie-borden-miniseries-ar-426649/
The casting of Miss Sevigny as Lizzie is spot-on. She has all the right physical attributes, right down to the mesmerizing and unsettling eyes, and is of the right age to pull it off. She is also a better-than-good actress. It will be very interesting to see who will be cast in the major roles. Maybe Uncle John Morse will be included this time around.
Due to street noise and the encroachment of modern living, and many other factors, the house on Second Street will not be a likely candidate for the filming venue. The 1975 Elizabeth Montgomery attempt did a pretty fair job of recreating Borden house interiors on stage sets.
There are very high hopes in Fall River, among the Borden house bed and breakfast employees, and students of the Borden case and Fall River history that this version will get the facts right and do the story justice. Playtone and Hanks are synonymous with quality productions, so the end result holds very great promise. It is surprising that it has taken so long to revisit the case and Lizzie Borden as the topic has been building momentum and interest since the Borden house opened for business in 1996.
The buzz about the upcoming Fall River Historical Society’s Parallel Lives, detailing Lizzie’s life and Fall River has been the hot topic around Fall River for many months as it promises revelations about Miss Borden which will open a few eyes. The date of publication has not yet been announced but the long-awaited tome is in final proofing and chances are it will be published by late Spring. The nearly thousand -page volume will feature over 500 photographs, including some new views of Lizzie herself, and will disspell some commonly -held notions about her. It will be a must-read for Miss Sevigny and should have some major impact on her characterization of the enigmatic Lizzie. The series will probably have an early 2012 air date according to some sources.
In any event, Lizzie is bigger now than ever, and the upcoming series will be a boon to the city as well as book sales of Parallel Lives. It will be a very exciting year ahead.
Here’s an interview and follow-up to the Chloe Sevigny story posted here earlier this month. Hopes are running high for an historically accurate script which will include John Morse this time around. The HBO mini-series, slated to run two nights, may be released at the end of 2011.
It’s no secret actress Chloe Sevigny loves the Lizzie Borden story and enjoyed her recent visit to the popular Bed and Breakfast in Fall River where the crimes took place. She recently announced in an interview that she will be starring in the role of Lizzie Borden for an HBO two-part miniseries on the famous case. This is a pet project which has been initiated by the actress herself. For more on the details see the interview here. Air date is yet to be announced. http://www.thenewsgallery.com/2011/02/chloe-sevigny-talks-to-imagine-fashion.html
With winter showing no signs of letting up in New England, seems a good time to stay inside by the fire with a few good blogs and web sites to read. Here are some you may enjoy which include Victoriana, fictional and true crime. It’s hard to narrow it down to just ten, but here’s ten good ones you might have missed. Hours of reading- pack a lunch!
1. Murder by Gaslight http://murderbygasslight.blogspot.com/
2. Clews– historic true crime http://laurajames.typepad.com/
3. Anne Perry – Detective Pitt in Victorian England, and other great series http://www.anneperry.net/
4. 1893 Columbian Expo in Chicago http://columbus.gl.iit.edu/
5. Victorian Station– all things Victorian http://www.victorianstation.com/home2.html
6. Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes (ASH) http://www.ash-nyc.com/AboutASH.htm
7. Victoriana– free online magazine, great articles and links http://www.victoriana.com/site_map.htm
8. Historic New England Homes and events http://www.historicnewengland.org/
9. Victorian Society in America – lectures, events, tours, classes http://www.victoriansociety.org/
10. Jack the Ripper http://www.casebook.org/
The Alliance for Community Media has given Lizbeth the Award for Best Documentary. Congratulations to all involved in the project. The documentary will air this coming Saturday on PBS at 7 pm and Sunday at 11 pm. Some still shots may be seen below taken on the day of the shoot last Spring.
As Halloween draws nearer every year, there seem to be more and more “Lizzie sightings”. Whether in haunted corn mazes, horror theme attractions, Halloween costumes or a proliferation of Lizzie Borden-based plays- the little gal with the hatchet is everywhere from August right through to All Saints Day!
The Discovery Channel has set the Ghost Lab show of the investigation of the Borden house for Oct 25th, with a preview on the 19th. The Travel Channel repeated its look at America’s Most Terrifying Places again this past weekend, Nance O’Neil is coming to a close this weekend in Manhattan and coming soon- a new play, Lizzie Borden Took An Axe, by Garrett Heater will be the debut production of a brand new theatre group.
Stay tuned for all-new Lizzie & Family productions coming this Fall on the Discovery channel, a landmark book on Fall River and Lizzie coming from the Fall River Historical Society, and the Borden case documentary shot by Ric Rebelo this past spring will be airing Saturday, October 30th at 7pm on Rhode Island PBS– the day before Halloween. And Sunday night, the 31st, is ALWAYS a special night at #92 Second Street and is sold out a year in advance!
The Travel Channel kicked off Ghost Adventures tonight with an episode filmed at the Lizzie Borden B&B this past May- one of several which will be airing between now and Halloween. This episode’s 7 minute clip from the shoot comes at the end of the show and features B&B guest interviews, comments from house co-owner, Lee Ann Wilber, seance highlights with Liz Nowicki, a local Fall River medium/psychic, and features house/museum employees in the roles of Abby and Lizzie. The Rev. Bob Richardson plays Andrew Borden. The episode will be airing several more times over the next few weeks. For the schedule, visit the link below.
Rev. Bob Richardson as Andrew Borden
Chances are you have not heard of the Garst Museum in Greenville, Ohio unless you are a fan of Greenville- born world traveller and TV star Lowell Thomas whose adventures enthralled millions on radio and later television. Or perhaps sharpshooter Annie Oakley, about whom the Garst has produced a world-class exhibit about her life.
As part of their autumn lecture series, another famous lady will be featured as subject of a one-woman show as Christy Igo takes on Lizzie Borden- no sharp-shooting pistol, but a hatchet just as deadly.
(photo of Ms. Igo from http://www.lizzieborden.info/_wsn/page2.html)
“Sunday, October 10, 2010 at 2:00 p.m., Christy Igo’s program “Lizzie Borden: A Life” is coming to the Garst. It is full of laughter, mystery, and horror as she brings Lizzie Borden to life to tell HER STORY of the murder of her beloved father and step mother. This crime is one of the bloodiest, most notorious and mysterious crimes of the 19th century!
In 1892 Lizzie Borden was found NOT guilty by a jury of her peers. Most of the towns folk of Falls River, Massachusetts DISAGREED. The trial received worldwide media attention. Lizzie became a celebrity. The gruesome details played out in the daily newspapers.
Did she or didn’t she? Modern law students still argue the case. You be the judge.
Christy Igo trained at Ohio University’s Professional Actor Training Program as well as at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. She has worked professionally all over the North Eastern United States. She has worked in film, commercials and documentaries. She formed HerStory productions in 1999 to produce and perform original one woman shows about inspirational women from history.The Garst Lecture Series are free to the public, thanks to a grant from the HOPE Foundation and the Harry D. Stephens Memorial Trust. This lecture may be more suitable for mature audiences. For more information please call 937-548-5250 or online at www.garstmuseum.org.”
The Borden case documentary shot by Ric Rebelo this past spring will be airing Saturday, October 30th at 7pm on Rhode Island PBS– the day before Halloween.
As posted earlier: The public is cordially invited to attend a presentation of “Lizzie Borden: The Mystery Continues,” sponsored by the Sippican Historical Society Thursday, Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. at Marion’s Music Hall.
The speaker will be Mr. Christopher Daley in a one hour retelling of the famous double homicide. Mr. Daley is a history teacher in the Silver Lake Regional School System in Kingston. If you get to Marion earlier, there are many things to enjoy, not the least of which is the scenery.
The Sippican Historical Society has a treasure trove of things to see including the Mary Celeste room,
and many beautiful paintings and sketches by Charles Dana Gibson, creator of the Gibson Girl.
It’s no wonder Lizzie wanted to go fishing in Marion with Dr. Handy’s cottage so close to the fishing pier. The photo below is the site of Dr. Handy’s cottage, but not the original building. The water is a moment’s walk away.
Borden case prosecutor, Hosea Knowlton enjoyed a summer rental in Marion, died there and had his ashes scattered over water there. The photo below is of his summer rental house, shown with the Second St. Irregulars on Front St.
Knowlton had built a beautiful summer home in 1900, but sadly died before he could enjoy many summers in it, He died in 1902. It is now a dormitory for Tabor Academy.
The Fall River Spirit just published a very interesting article about the current exhibit of Bordenalia at the Fall River Historical Society. If you have not seen this- hurry on down as the special exhibit has an expiration date of October 15th!
Assistant curator Dennis Binnette has commented in the article on the surprising amount of blood on the shams and coverlet which were in the guest room of the Borden house on Second St. For the article follow this link http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100812/PUB03/8120358
(photo credit: Dave Souza, Fall River Herald)