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FC 71 Cambridge Cameos with Roger Thompson

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Roger Thompson, author of the book Cambridge Cameos: Stories of Life in 17th Century New England.

Roger is our first Fieldstone Common guest to make a second appearance on the show. He first appeared discussing his book From Deference to Defiance: Charlestown, Massachusetts 1629-1692. Roger lives in England so when he was visiting the United States this past summer I took advantage of fitting in a second interview with him.

This interview is a little different. It is not done in a studio but recorded live at his summer Cambridge Cameos with Roger Thomoson on Fieldstone Commonresidence in the very busy, bustling and noisy city of Cambridge, Massachusetts. So we will have some ambiance noise from this city in the background of the interview. I hope you won’t find that too distracting. It seems fitting somehow that we spoke in the heart of Cambridge since our discussion centered on the early history of that city.


Roger Thompson is emeritus professor of American Colonial History at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, England.

In addition to From Deference to Defiance, Roger Thompson has written:

Book Summary

Cambridge Cameos contains forty-four sketches from the period 1651 to 1686 that combine good stories, intriguing personalities, and incidents involving mostly ordinary Cambridge people. They are based on thousands of original documents; virtually all primary sources with any bearing on the early history of Cambridge. Drawing on his vast knowledge of Middlesex County families and on his equally vast experience in the town and court records of that county, Roger Thompson has composed a number of delightful vignettes of early residents of the town of Cambridge. He provides us with a rare opportunity to hear these early New Englanders speak for themselves and to experience seventeenth-century life as directly as possible.

Book Info Cambridge Cameos: Stories of Life in Seventeenth-Century New England

Title: Cambridge Cameos: Stories of Life in 17th Century New England

Publisher: New England Historic Genealogical Society (2005)

Trade paperback; 355 pages with 2 appendices, footnotes notes, and an index.

Cambridge Cameos is available for purchase from the New England Historic Genealogical Society and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview Roger and I dive into all the fascinating aspects of life in the 1600s in Cambridge from the unusual ways people paid for their Harvard tuition to the culture of discipline and why female healers were often accused of witchcraft.

Prize Winners

Two copies of Cambridge Cameos were given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

The winners are:

  • Jean Smoorenburg of Texas
  • Cynthia Bishop of Virginia

Congratulations to our winners and thanks to the New England Historic Genealogical Society 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!

The Direct Link to this post is www.fieldstonecommon.com/cambridge-cameos-roger-thompson/

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