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The Civil War Letters of Florence Burke, an Irish Famine Immigrant

  • 01/31/2018
  • 7:00 PM
  • Burns Library, Boston College

John J. Burns Library & the Eire Society of Boston


The Civil War Letters of Florence Burke, An Irish Famine Immigrant

Wednesday, January 31
7:00pm | Burns Library, Boston College
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Ellen B. Alden is a former elementary teacher who turned her love for history, education, and family into an award-winning historical novel. Based on a series of nineteen letters written by her great-great grandfather that she found one day in her attic, Yours Faithfully, Florence Burke tells the story of an Irish farmer who emigrated to West Springfield, Massachusetts to escape the ravages of the Great Famine and later faced the desolation of Civil War battlefields in Virginia as a volunteer in the Union Army.

Alden and her family will donate Florence Burke’s original letters and photographs to the John J. Burns Library for rare books, special collections, and archives at Boston College during a ceremony on Wednesday evening, January 31, 2018, beginning at 7:00pm. Co-sponsored by The Éire Society of Boston, the event is free and open to the public.

Alden will discuss her book and play a recorded excerpt from the letters read by WROL radio host Seamus Mulligan with music and images of the Civil War. Alden will also speak about her research and writing journey and the unexpected places it has taken her. The program will conclude with the formal presentation of the letters and an acapella rendition of “Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears” performed by Boston College alumna and friend Julie Zavrl. A reception will follow. Copies of Alden’s book will be available for purchase and signing. 

All are welcome.

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