Just back from Boston, where Bo Bradley grew up and the setting for Bone Blind and half of The Paper Doll Museum. I can’t get enough of the place and will have to take Bo home at some point. For the wedding, maybe? 😉
This time involved happily sitting on the ground on a trash bag for
a free production of my fave, King Lear, on the Common. It was a slapdash affair, costume-wise, with Lear and the Dukes looking like they wandered in from The Student Prince, Goneril, Regan and Cordelia in trendy contemporary businesswear and the Fool in a vaudeville hobo outfit complete with bowler hat. But after five minutes it didn’t matter, and the Fool was stellar!
But most interesting was, of all (usually boring) things, a house tour. Over many years of spending huge amounts of time in Boston, I’ve always rented somebody’s third floor in suburban Newton Highlands. Boston is so crowded and expensive that people who have the old Victorians
routinely do this, and the accommodations are quirkily wonderful, like artists’ garrets only big and airy and surrounded by trees. I love Newton’s architecture and even based a whole mystery, Bone Blind, on it. (The dead body found in a candlelit tower like one of these you see all over Newton, the police detective about to retire and go into restoring Victorians, and the horror novelist who writes about them.)
But what I didn’t know until this absolutely not-boring tour was that many of the houses I find so intriguing were designed and built by Annie Cobb, America’s first woman architect! Architectural designer Laura Fitzmaurice has exhaustively researched Annie and her houses, all of which you can see here complete with photos. But even if you’re not fascinated by Victorian architecture, scroll through to the end where Fitzmaurice provides a professional, delightful and refreshingly feminist biography of yet another woman who was almost lost to history. If the Newton Highlands Historical Archive ever creates Annie Cobb t-shirts, I’ll wear one!