Edward Fitch Underhill
Renaissance Man of Siasconset

by Margaret Moore Booker

© 2014 Nantucket Historical Association

304 pages

ISBN  978-0-578-14264-7(hardcover)

Price $29.95



From the back of the book --

MR. UNDERHILL is, by reason of his two publications in the literary and the artistic way, at once the historian of ’Sconset and its illustrator . . . he is a landed proprietor and a builder, a landlord and an architect . . . the chief of Pochick and the trumpet that makes’ Sconset’s visitors known to the outside world; finally, he is the handsomest man on the Bank, the most invariably good-humored, and by far the most popular. Charles T. Dunwell, in Browne’s Phonographic Monthly,1877 EDWARD FITCH UNDERHILL(1830–98)was a man of many trades, engaged in the new occupations and reforms of mid-nineteenth century America. Settled in New York City as a journalist, he was a reporter during the Civil War for The New-York Times. Margaret Moore Booker’s account of his development as a war correspondent is exceptional, as his dispatches from the Maryland/West Virginia front provided a rare first-person view of the war in 1860. Underhill discovered Nantucket in 1879, and the focus of Booker’s story shifts to ’Sconset, where he became a major developer of tourism and entrepreneur of a “cottage enclave” that attracted the theatrical community to ’Sconset. A selection of Underhill’s humorous writings about ’Sconset enhances this substantial biography, which retells in a lively way the real-life adventures of an ambitious, bold, and enterprising man. Dr. Bette S. Weidman, Associate Professor, Department of English Queens College of the City University of New York

About the Author --

A resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico, since 2004,MARGARET MOORE BOOKER is the award-winning author of books and essays on art, decorative arts, architecture, and history. With deep family roots on Nantucket and as a former resident, she contributed articles and wrote several books on the island’s art and history, including Nantucket Spirit: The Art and Life of Elizabeth Rebecca Coffin (Mill Hill Press,2001) and Among the Stars: The Life of Maria Mitchell, Astronomer, Educator, Women’s Rights Activist (Mill Hill Press, 2007). She also coauthored Sea Captains’ Houses and Rose-Covered Cottages: The Architectural Heritage of Nantucket Island (Universe, 2003), chosen by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of 2003. Among her recent publications are Southwest Art Defined: An Illustrated Guide (Rio Nuevo Publishers, 2013),winner of the Historical Society of New Mexico’s Twitchell Award for significant contribution to the creative arts in New Mexico, and The Santa Fe House (Rizzoli, 2009), chosen “best art book of 2010” by the New Mexico Book Co-op.

Margaret Moore Booker


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