If trite, simplistic language and broad generalizations bore you, and neighborhoods in Brooklyn like Clinton Hill and Fort Greene excite you, Francis Morrone has a book for you. The Brooklyn Historical Society launched their latest version of their book, the eighth in the series, which focus in on “Neighborhood and Architectural History Guides.”
Brooklyn Eagle (1) promises that this book isn’t’ just about the history you already knew about and the buildings that are no longer there. A quick read at only 108 pages, the text still “packs a punch, partly because Morrone does not attempt a comprehensive history of what he rightly acknowledges as “a very complex place.”
Without dumbing the text down or rehashing what you already knew, Morrone digs into and behind the walls which hold up some of Brooklyn’s most important histories and most dynamic personalities.
Walt Whitman put the final tweaks on Leaves of Grass (1855) in “what is believed to be the only houses still standing in Brooklyn that was a home to Walt Whitman – 99 Ryerson Street.” Richard Wright and Marianne Moore lived in Clinton Hill; Ralph Waldo Emerson visited Whitman at Ryerson. Can you imagine what that conversation must have been like?
Emerson: “So…this is your place?”
Using archives from The New York Times, the New York Tribune, and the Brooklyn Eagle Morrone is “able to piece together not only some of the more fascinating events, institutions, and personalities that have defined the neighborhoods’ landscape, but also the way in which the area has been perceived over time.”
Sounds like a great read for any Clinton Hill resident!