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Lecture: Lilli DeJong with author Janet Benton

June 25, 2017 @ 2:00 pm


Lecture: Lilli DeJong with author Janet Benton – Sunday, June 25. 2017, 2:00 p.m.

It’s not every day that a major publisher puts out a novel set largely in Germantown. Janet Benton’s Lilli de Jong (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday) is the diary of a young Quaker in 1883 Philadelphia who gives birth at a charity for unwed mothers. The fictional Lilli comes from an old Germantown family and was a new teacher at a Friends’ school and a lifelong member of a Meeting before her fall. Finding that the bond with her infant is not easily broken, she gains the courage to go against social norms, struggling against increasing obstacles to keep her baby and herself alive.

Come hear some of what Benton learned about baby farmers, wet nursing, Blockley almshouse, the care of foundlings, women’s poverty, the recovery of starving infants, prejudice against unwed mothers, Quaker ways and practices, and so much more. Find out how Benton crafted this tale of physical, emotional, moral, and spiritual trials that brings us from an institution for unwed mothers (based on an actual one downtown) to a wealthy family’s home on Walnut Lane to the streets of a burgeoning city. The author will also read an excerpt of the novel and answer questions. Cost: $25, Member cost: $20 Reservations required. CLICK HERE for reservations or call 215-438-1861.


June 25, 2017
2:00 pm