George & Edgar

EA Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

George Lippard

George Lippard

George Lippard and Edgar Allan Poe toiled in the trenches of Philadelphia newspaper and magazine journalism in the early 1840s.

One writer achieved enormous success, while the other struggled bitterly, only to have his star rise to the highest heights after his death, says literary critic Edward G. Pettit. 

Pettit will talk about the close friendship between George and Edgar in a program 2 p.m., Sunday, July 19, 2015 at historic Laurel Hill Mansion in East Fairmount Park.


Edward G. Pettit, The Philly Poe Guy

Witty and engaging, Edward G Pettit is a respected authority on Lippard, Poe and other Philadelphia Gothic authors. In addition, he served as the Charles Dickens Ambassador for the Free Library of Philadelphia’s year-long Bicentenary celebration of the author’s birth in 2012 and wrote the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion’s 2013 murder mystery play, Twisted, where he played Dickens.

…In 2009, the Philadelphia Library Company hosted the literary exhibit Philadelphia Gothic: Murders, Mysteries, Monsters, and Mayhem Inspire American Fiction 1798-1854. The exhibit can be viewed on-line.


City of Music

2f7a26ePopular historian Jack McCarthy explores Philadelphia’s great musical legacy in a program at 2 p.m., Sunday, June 14, 2015 at historic Strawberry Mansion, located in East Fairmount Park.

For more than 300 years, the City has nurtured numerous ground-breaking musical styles and artists, and has been at the forefront of some of the world’s most significant musical developments.

Jack’s presentation, Philadelphia: City of Music, features stories and archival images about America’s first song composer, the first African-American to have his music published, the nation’s first “mega concert,” the City’s legendary institutions such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia International Records, Cameo-Parkway Records, as well as many of the City’s foremost artists in classical music, jazz, gospel, rock n’ roll, rhythm & blues/soul.


Music of Colonial Philadelphia


Jack McCarthy

Historian Jack McCarthy explores the music of Colonial Philadelphia from the 1670s to 1770s in a program on Sunday, November 23, 2014 at 2 p.m., at Laurel Hill Mansion, an historic house museum in East Fairmount Park.

Philadelphia’s early music culture was greatly affected by the prevailing influence of the founding Quakers, who were a decidedly unmusical people, says Jack McCarthy. Fortunately, the city also become home to many other religious and ethnic groups for whom music was important, and, eventually, a lively music culture took shape in the City. By the late 18th century, Philadelphia was the music capital of America, a position it would hold until the 1820s.

Jack McCarthy’s presentation, Philadelphia Lost Sites and Sounds: Music of Colonial Philadelphia, combines lecture, archival images and recorded examples featuring the music of the day, created by individuals, events and sites that shaped the city’s emerging musical culture of the Colonial period.