Corner of East & South St., Rte. 63, Litchfield, CT Phone: 860-567-4501.
7 p.m. Adult Content. Free for members; $5 for non-members. Registration: Yes, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Doron S. Ben-Atar and Richard D. Brown will be here to discuss their new book Taming Lust: Crimes Against Nature in the Early Republic. The book explores two New England cases of bestiality crimes and the following trials, including that of Litchfield’s Gideon Washburn. Was it a decent respect of animal rights, ageism, or family or community feuds that led to trials of these two men? Or were these accusations, convictions and appeals part of a cultural struggle to harken back to puritan times in the face of modernity? This book puts the accusation of bestiality, a practice that is still in the news today, into historical context. More than just a book of history, Taming Lust is entertaining and engaging, combining novel-like historical narrative and in depth analysis. Ultimately, in studying these two isolated cases, in understanding these crimes and their perpetrators’ convictions, the authors offer a vivid portrait of American culture at the end of the eighteenth century. The two authors conducted a portion of their research in the archives at the Historical Society.