FC 80 Jerks in Boston History with Paul Della Valle

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Paul Della Valle, author of the book Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Boston History.

Please note:

A few parts of the interview contain mature topics about serial killers which may not be appropriate for children.

 

Bio – Paul Della Valle

Paul Della Valle, father of three and grandfather of two, lives on five acres of an old farm in Jerks in Boston History with Paul Della Valle on Fieldstone CommonSterling, Massachusetts with his wife Karen, their dog, Yaz, and Boots Vanzetti, their anarchist cat. In 2009, he wrote Massachusetts Troublemakers: Rebels, Reformers, and Radicals from the Bay State (Globe Pequot Press).

Della Valle won dozens of writing and reporting awards in a thirty-year career as a journalist that began even before he graduated from Metropolitan State College in Denver in 1979. In 1996 he founded the Lancaster Times and Clinton Courier, which he published for 9 years. During that time, the combined newspapers were twice runner-up for New England Press Association Newspaper of the Year. He has taught writing at Worcester’s Clark University and journalism at Boston’s Northeastern University.

Book Summary

Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Boston History features eighteen short profiles of notorious bad guys, perpetrators of mischief, visionary if misunderstood thinkers, and other colorful antiheroes from the history of Beantown. It reveals the dark side of some well-known and even revered characters from Boston’s past – both part-time Jerks and others who were Jerks through and through.

Book InfoJerks in Boston History with Paul Della Valle on Fieldstone Common

Title: Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Boston History

Publisher: Globe Pequot Press (2014)

Trade Paperback; 219 pages; with bibliography, index and some BxW photos & illustrations.

Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Boston History is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

Who are the truly bad guys from Boston history? That might be debatable but Paul Della Valle makes a pretty good case in his book Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Boston History. In this interview Paul and I debate the reputation of Bronson Alcott and Cotton Mather. Paul gives us the low-down on some of the worst characters from Boston history such as Boston Strangler Albert DeSalvo and serial killer Jane Toppan. We also take a look at Revolutionary War spy Dr. Benjamin Church. You will learn about a whole new group of decidedly bad folks.

Links mentioned during the interview:

Prize Winners

One copy of Speaking Ill of the Dead: Jerks in Boston Historywas given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Globe Pequot Press.

The winner is:

  • Melanie Mueller of Texas

Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Globe Pequot Press for their generosity in donating the book!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

The Direct Link to this post is
www.fieldstonecommon.com/jerks-in-boston-with-paul-della-valle/

News & Announcements

BIG NEWS for Android users! Fieldstone Common is now available in the Android app Stitcher. Stitcher is a program like iTunes but is available on the Android platform. Download Stitcher and search for Fieldstone Common or click here.

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 80)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 80 is the number of the episode.

**** The new Fieldstone Common Season 2 subscription is now available in iTunes. You will need to subscribe to this link to continue receiving episodes in ITunes. Click on the link to subscribe.

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Fieldstone Common is no longer broadcast on Blog Talk Radio. You can listen to the show by clicking the play button above or subscribing in iTunes or other podcatchers.

 

FC 063 Mysteries and Legends New England with Diana Ross McCain

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Diana Ross McCain, author of the book Mysteries and Legends New England: True Stories of the Unsolved and Unexplained.

Bio

Mysteries and Legends New England with Diana Ross McCain on Fieldstone CommonDiana Ross McCain has written about Connecticut’s past for more than 25 years and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history. A frequent contributor to Early American Life and Connecticut magazines, and The Hartford Courant, McCain wrote the award-winning publication To All on Equal Terms, the story of Connecticut’s official state heroine, Prudence Crandall. She is the head of the Research Center at the Connecticut Historical Society.

Book Summary

Have you ever heard of the Leather Man who wandered a 365 mile route through Connecticut and Eastern New York? Is there any truth to the tale of Captain Kidd’s treasure being buried in New England? What was the terrifying fear of 19th century Americans? Mysteries and Legends New England contains thirteen mind-boggling tales from Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island. From vampires to an angel, a ghost rapper to a phantom ship, Mysteries and Legends of New England pulls back the curtain on some of the region’s most fascinating and compelling stories.

Book InfoMysteries and Legends New England with Diana Ross McCain on Fieldstone Common

Title: Mysteries and Legends New England: True Stories of the Unsolved and Unexplained

Publisher: Globe Pequot Press (2009)

Trade paperback; 181 pages with bibliography, index and some BxW photos and illustrations.

Mysteries and Legends New England: True Stories of the Unsolved and Unexplained is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview we explore in-depth the story of the mysterious Leather Man who walked a 34 day route through 365 miles of Connecticut and Eastern New York and how he became a familiar face and a legend during his lifetime. We also look into the curious but very real fear that 19th century Americans had of being buried alive despite the fact that there were very few documented cases of it actually occurring. Are you familiar with the story of Captiain Kidd? He was more than just a pirate legend! He was a gentleman with a wife and daughter living in New York City until things went very, very wrong. And let’s not forget the discussion on concealed garments and shoes. The tradition, brought over from England, was that these items would be tucked into the walls of houses during construction to ward off evil spirits or to bring good luck.

At the end of the interview Diana tells us about the Connecticut Historical Society and the amazing historical and genealogical resources available there. She also mentions some of her other books which are listed here:

Prize Winners

Two copies of Mysteries and Legends New England were given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of the Globe Pequot Press.

The winners are:

  • Kim Myers of Oregon
  • Connie Pine of Texas

Congratulations to our winners and thanks to the Globe Pequot Press for their generosity in donating the books!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

News & Announcements

Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 063)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 63 is the number of the episode.

**** The new Fieldstone Common Season 2 subscription is now available in iTunes. You will need to subscribe to this link to continue receiving episodes in ITunes. Click on the link to subscribe.

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Fieldstone Common is no longer broadcast on Blog Talk Radio. You can listen to the show by clicking the play button above or subscribing in iTunes or other podcatchers.