Author talk with Hilary Bartlett
The Thistle Inn: A Wee Bit of Scotland in Maine
Saturday, August 14 at 10:00am on the library lawn
Join us on the library lawn to hear author Hilary Bartlett discuss her new book.
Hilary E. Bartlett was born and raised in Liverpool, England, with belching chimneys, street gangs and perpetual damp. When the Beatles first played at the Cavern she was there, but that was as good as it got. Good grades were her means of escape. Hilary studied microbiology at University College London and received her doctorate. She came to Bigelow Laboratory in Midcoast Maine in her late twenties to determine a predictive index for toxic red-tides. Her intention was to return to London but Boothbay Harbor bewitched her. She took a full-time research position at Bigelow Lab and lived opposite the Thistle Inn during the 1970s. Hilary made lifelong friends at the back corner table in the pub, where Bigelow sisters first shared stories about feisty grandmothers. Those young women changed Hilary’s life. Yet she was the only one who stayed in Boothbay Harbor. Once she found her true home, she never wanted to leave.
Hilary changed careers after she became a mother and started a home-based art business. Her reputation as an artist is well established and her ink paintings have won awards. She received a writing fellowship from Waypoint Foundation to spend time at one of their Key Largo retreats. The Thistle Inn is her first book.
Colorful tales of the Thistle Inn paint a vivid portrait of a Maine fishing village during the 1960s and ‘70s. When shrimp boats filled the harbor, martinis were less than two dollars and famous actors, musicians and ballplayers dropped by. Photos and vintage menus spice up the pages, plus the secret ingredient for the Thistle’s Downeast steak is finally revealed.
“Boothbay locals that frequented The Thistle Inn during the Leonie/T’Donald years who read this highly entertaining book of tales – those that could be printed, anyway – will smile, laugh, and remember when. The rest of us will read it, smile, laugh . . . and wish to God we remembered it too!”
Lisa Kristoff, Boothbay Register
“My wife and I wrote weekly travel columns for 7 years, and loved Boothbay Harbor, but I had no idea of the fascinating history of the Thistle Inn until I read this book. And you will love all the interesting stories of the inn’s owners and guests, especially the patrons in the bar.”
George Smith, award-winning journalist and Maine author