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Island Parallels: Marooned and Nurtured – Deirdre Kessler

August 29 @ 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm


Sunday Lunch & Lecture Series 2021. These events are part of our fundraising as well as our educational mandate. at the Homestead followed by an interesting talk

Deirdre Kessler will be our guest speaker today.

Deirdre Kessler will read excerpts from her forthcoming novel, Darwin’s Hornpipe, set in the 1850s during the same era when Catherine Elizabeth Moore Smith married William McPhail and moved to the Scottish community of Orwell, P.E. Island, where she lived for the rest of her life. Her son, Sir Andrew Macphail, preserves the memory of Catherine, of his father, and of life in Orwell in his semi-autobiographical memoir, The Master’s Wife. Deirdre will draw parallels between her novel’s main character, Will McDonough, who becomes stranded on a Galápagos Island, and Catherine McPhail, isolated in a Scottish-Gaelic community. Both Catherine and Will were marooned but nurtured physically, psychologically, and spiritually by their isolation.

Deirdre Kessler started her teaching career in nearby Vernon River Consolidated School and has had a long and close association with the Sir Andrew Macphail Homestead. Deirdre’s portrait of Catherine McPhail, “Sure-footed and agile as a girl,” was published by Penumbra Press’s award-winning The Master’s Wife: The Book and The Place.  Deirdre is a former Prince Edward Island Poet Laureate and is the author of over two dozen books of fiction, nonfiction, memoir, and poetry.

The lunch will start at 12:30 and the lecture will begin once everyone has eaten, around 2:30. Menu options:

  • Orwell Salad (Our favourite salad with small potatoes, green beans, boiled egg, mature cheddar, tomato and red onion tossed in home-made pesto.)
  • “The Master’s” Chicken Salad Ciabatta (with pecans, green onion, red pepper and mayo) served with a salad.
  • Mistress Catherine’s Fish Cakes (A Maritime favourite, served with salad, baked beans and chow).

To reserve a seat please call (902) 651-2789 or email us at macphailhomestead@gmail.com


August 29
12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
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