Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Lowells of Massachusetts

The Lowells of Massachusetts

An American Family

Nina Sankovitch

St. Martin's Press

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“[A] stirring saga…Vivid and intimate, Ms. Sankovitch’s account entertains us with Puritans and preachers, Tories and rebels, abolitionists and industrialists, lecturers and poets … Ms. Sankovitch has made a compelling contribution to Massachusetts and American History.”—Roger Lowenstein, The Wall Street Journal

"Sankovitch has searched out these letters to write the powerful story of one of America’s most extraordinary families, a family that helped shape the course of American history in dramatic and decisive ways...By the final pages of this volume, one feels deeply attached to the individual Lowells, while also exhilarated at having experienced this grand sweep of American history." —Charlotte Gordon, Washington Post

The Lowells of Massachusetts were a remarkable family. They were settlers in the New World in the 1600s, revolutionaries creating a new nation in the 1700s, merchants and manufacturers building prosperity in the 1800s, and scientists and artists flourishing in the 1900s. For the first time, Nina Sankovitch tells the story of this fascinating and powerful dynasty in The Lowells of Massachusetts.

Though not without scoundrels and certainly no strangers to controversy, the family boasted some of the most astonishing individuals in America’s history: Percival Lowle, the patriarch who arrived in America in the seventeenth to plant the roots of the family tree; Reverend John Lowell, the preacher; Judge John Lowell, a member of the Continental Congress; Francis Cabot Lowell, manufacturer and, some say, founder of the Industrial Revolution in the US; James Russell Lowell, American Romantic poet; Lawrence Lowell, one of Harvard’s longest-serving and most controversial presidents; and Amy Lowell, the twentieth century poet who lived openly in a Boston Marriage with the actress Ada Dwyer Russell.

The Lowells realized the promise of America as the land of opportunity by uniting Puritan values of hard work, community service, and individual responsibility with a deep-seated optimism that became a well-known family trait. Long before the Kennedys put their stamp on Massachusetts, the Lowells claimed the bedrock.

EXCERPT

1

1638–1639


We venture goods, and lives, ye know, and travel seas and landTo bring by traffic heaps of wealth and treasure to your land.

—POEM COMPOSED IN HONOR OFQUEEN ELIZABETH’S 1574 VISIT TO BRISTOL, ENGLAND

Percival...

Reviews

Praise for The Lowells of Massachusetts

"Sankovitch has searched out these letters to write the powerful story of one of America’s most extraordinary families, a family that helped shape the course of American history in dramatic and decisive ways...By the final pages of this volume, one feels deeply attached to the individual Lowells, while also exhilarated at having experienced this grand sweep of American history." —Charlotte Gordon, Washington Post

“[A] stirring saga…Vivid and intimate, Ms. Sankovitch’s account entertains us with Puritans and preachers, Tories and rebels, abolitionists and industrialists, lecturers and poets … Ms. Sankovitch has made a compelling contribution to Massachusetts and American History.”—Roger Lowenstein, The Wall Street Journal

"In her multigenerational biography of the Lowell family, Sankovitch uses the family's motto of Occasionem Cognosce ("Seize the Opportunity") as her central theme, illustrating how the Puritan values of hard work and commitment to community shaped the Lowells into a quintessential New England dynasty... Sankovitch's use of interpretative passages breathe color into descriptions of the home life and various Lowells, adding an artistic dimension to the account. Her ability to switch focus among family members while keeping readers fully engaged in the narrative is a significant achievement." —Library Journal

"A sturdy, busy multibiography of an eminent American family. From the first forebear of means, Percival Lowle (the spelling of the name changed in the early 1720s) to the celebrated poet Amy Lowell, who died in 1925, Sankovitch traces this long-enduring, Anglo-Saxon Massachusetts family and its many sterling American achievements. Exhaustive work by a clear admirer and dogged researcher." —Kirkus

“Sankovitch presents a fascinating collective biographychronicling the accomplishments, achievements, and setbacks of one of America’sfirst and finest families. Sankovitch scrupulously resurrects them, payingtribute [to] this prominent, complicated family.” —Booklist

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Nina Sankovitch

NINA SANKOVITCH is the author of Tolstoy and the Purple Chair and Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Celebrating the Joys of Letter Writing. She can be reached through her website, www.readallday.org.

Nina Sankovitch

Douglas Healey

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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