There’s something intoxicating about it, and both McCullough and Allen have sipped the Kool-Aid. I’ve already been dreaming about my would-be trip to Paris (in the 19th century, clearly…), and of my friendships with the historical characters McCullough depicts. Emma Hart Willard, the widow, scandalously traveling on her own, with her “particularly strong profile… [and] dressed invariably in the finest black silk or satin, her head crowned with a white turban,” would have been my closest friend. I knew that we would have spent some late hours talking with James Fenimore Cooper, but it wasn’t until I watched Corey Stoll as Hemingway that I knew he would have been the third in mine and Emma’s tightly-knit group.
If you’ve not seen this film, or picked up this book, please do. You’re sure to be inspired by these passionate characters, and without sounding too nerdy, engaging with the individuals that impacted the cultural and medical landscape of the 19th century, is an opportunity I’d not dare to miss.
David McCullough will be in Toronto on June 27th, and his conversation with Heather Reisman promises to be an interesting one. Did you know that he narrated Seabiscuit? Who better to describe the inspiration of the Louvre, than a man with a voice so harmonic?