Parallel Lives: A Social History of Lizzie A. Borden and Her Fall River sheds new light on the life of Lizzie Andrew Borden and provides a unique, and previously neglected, look at the complex social history of Fall River, Massachusetts, during the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.
Painstakingly researched and written for the Fall River Historical Society by its curatorial staff, Parallel Lives uses the time span of Lizzie’s family as the framework around which the story unfolds. Profusely illustrated with period images, this groundbreaking work includes five recently discovered photographs of Lizzie taken in her later years; extremely rare and previously unpublished, they make their public debut in Parallel Lives.
Relying on an extensive number of untapped resources discovered by the authors, including manuscripts, diaries, and a plethora of material gleaned from private collections worldwide, Parallel Lives provides unprecedented insight into Lizzie’s world, into her Fall River. No attempt is made at yet another in-depth retelling of the Borden murder case, nor is speculation as to Lizzie’s innocence or guilt opined. Rather, a picture is painted of the Fall River Lizzie knew, with the city vibrantly brought to life: the people, the sounds, and the events that formed its history. Parallel Lives takes the reader back in time and provides a never-before-seen look at Lizzie’s private life, and the world in which she lived it.
Heretofore, Lizzie A. Borden has been presented in black and white, a one-dimensional character defined by legend and innuendo. Now, for the first time, she emerges as a far more complex, complete individual, whose personal life, albeit private, was one of grace and dignity—despite the specter of suspicion under which she was forced to exist. Though silenced by the grave, Lizzie and her contemporaries speak once again, revealing, in their own words, heartfelt tales of anguish and tribulation, as well as those of love, laughter, and serenity, thus bringing their Fall River to life.
Here we meet a flesh and blood Lizzie in full color—a woman who was anything but the icon created by those who did not know her personally.Those who did painted an entirely different picture of the mistress of Maplecroft— and the stories they had to tell are among those collected for the first time in Parallel Lives.