Cornell University

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The Comstocks of Cornell: The Definitive Autobiography

Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 4:30pm to 5:30pm

Virtual Event

Decades after her death, nature study movement leader Anna Botsford Comstock is finding her true voice. The original 1953 publication of her autobiography, The Comstocks of Cornell, has long been considered the definitive account of her life and that of her husband, entomologist John Henry Comstock, but it was, in fact, heavily edited—with important parts omitted and with several discrepancies from the original memoirs.

Karen Penders St. Clair has restored Comstock’s voice in her edited The Comstocks of Cornell: The Definitive Autobiography (Cornell University Press, 2020), which includes previously missing sections of Comstock’s descriptions of Cornell’s early days and her and her husband’s life and work.

In this live Chats in the Stacks webinar, St. Clair—who received her doctoral degree from the School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell—will discuss the process of editing the book and her painstaking research into Comstock’s papers in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections.

A live, moderated question and answer session will follow the talk. The audience is encouraged to submit questions via the Q&A window in the webinar.

This book talk is supported by the Mary A. Morrison Public Education Fund for Mann Library.


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Event Type

Author Appearance, Special Event, Presentation


Cornell University Library, Mann Library, Horticulture, School of Integrative Plant Science, Education


book talk, Cornell University Library, rare and manuscript collections, fgsscal




Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Jenny Leijonhufvud


Karen Penders St. Clair

Dept. Web Site

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Free and open to all

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