FORT MADISON – Historian Kathy Wilson will be presenting a program on death and mourning customs in the Victorian era at the Fort Madison Public Library on May 23, 2019 at 6:00 pm. Kathy believes learning about the past can be fun as well as interesting. To prove that point, she draws on more than 20 years of experience to create programs that engage and entertain as well as educate her audiences.
Victorians had a different attitude about death than we do in the 21st Century. People died at home surrounded by loved ones, families picnicked in cemeteries on Sundays, took photos with deceased (what’s up with that?) & made jewelry from their hair (yes, really!). They also worried about being buried alive or someone stealing their bodies. This program explores the Victorians’ fascination with death & the culture they developed to memorialize the dead. It is also a timely presentation, the Thursday before Memorial Day, a holiday that began shortly after the American Civil War during the Victorian Era as a way to remember the many soldiers killed in that war. Over the years, it has developed into a day to remember and honor all those who have served in the military but its roots lie in customs from the 1860’s.
A professional historian and educator, Kathy Wilson received her BA in History from Bemidji State University in Minnesota, before traveling to England where she completed her Masters at the University of York. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Iowa and specializes in 18th and 19th-century British-American social history.
For additional information about this program, contact Sarah Clendineng, (319) 372-5721, SarahClen@fortmadison.lib.ia.us at the Fort Madison Public Library