Wednesday, July 31, 2013
The Politician and the Novelist
Presenter Peter Keyes is a retired teacher now living in Newbury and the proprietor of Oxbow Books. His cousin Frances Keyes Keidel lives outside Philadelphia, but spends much of her time at the ancestral family home, Pine Grove Farm in North Haverhill. They will discuss the lives and careers of their well-known grandparents.
Henry Keyes was born in 1862 in Newbury and settled at Pine Grove Farm after graduation from Harvard. He was a founder of the Woodsville Bank and served in both branches of the New Hampshire legislature and as Governor of New Hampshire for one term, 1917-1919. He is best remembered as a three-term U.S. Senator, representing New Hampshire until 1937. He died in 1938.
Frances Parkinson Keyes, was twenty-two years his junior when they married in 1903. She published her first novel in 1919 and became well known for a series of articles in Good Housekeeping magazine, “Letters from a Senator’s Wife,” about life in Washington, DC. She would go on to publish over fifty books and become one of the most popular novelists of the mid-twentieth century. Many of her books were bestsellers, and Life magazine named her one of the “three queens” of fiction in the U.S. in 1950. She died in 1970.
Keyes and Keidel will display books and memorabilia related to the lives of their grandparents. Their program is part of a series celebrating the 250th anniversary of the founding of Haverhill, New Hampshire and Newbury, Vermont.