The Norwich Bookstore and Norwich Historical Society welcome author Sara Rath, who will read from and discuss her new historical novel, Seven Years of Grace: The Inspired Mission of Achsa W. Sprague, published by the Vermont Historical Society. The Norwich Bookstore will have copies of Rath's book available for purchase at the event.
Seven Years of Grace is a dramatized account of the life of Vermonter Achsa W. Sprague (1827-1862), who in the decade preceding the Civil War, lectured to audiences of of thousands on Spiritualism, the abolition of slavery, women's rights, and prison reform. Grounded in the extensive collection of Sprague's papers at the Vermont Historical Society, this fascinating tale includes trances, angels, and the love Achsa felt for a married man.
A local point of interest: Merritt Goddard, who was engaged in the late 1800s by the town of Norwich to write its history, heard Sprague speak at her first public lecture in South Reading, VT, and was captivated. Goddard later arranged for the posthumous publication of a play in verse that Sprague wrote in a fever dream during the last weeks of her life, The Poet, for which he wrote an introduction.
Rath is the author of 15 books, including The Waters of Star Lake and H.H. Bennett, Photographer: His American Landscape. The Vermont Historical Society awarded her its Weston A. Cate Fellowship to support her research on Achsa W. Sprague. She lives in Spring Green, Wisconsin.
This event is free and open to the public, and will be held at the Norwich Historical Society at 277 Main Street (just one block from the bookstore). Reservations are recommended as space is limited: please call the bookstore 802-649-1114 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Norwich Bookstore will attend and provide Rath's book for purchase.
In November 1852, a shy and sickly young spinster in Plymouth Notch, Vermont, glimpses a blinding rush of angel wings. Restored to health and given an urgent mission by these guardians, she embraces the Spiritualist movement and embarks on a seven-year crusade across America.