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ISBN 978-0932027-139
112 pages • 7.5” x 9”
100+ images

Voice of the Tide

The Cape Cod Heritage of Katharine Lee Bates

Leonard Miele

Katharine Lee Bates, the author of “America the Beautiful” and the most honored native-born resident of Falmouth, Massachusetts, lived on Cape Cod from 1859 to 1871. In Voice of the Tide, readers get to know the Falmouth of her youth and how this “little strip of silver shore” influenced her life and writing. Katharine described herself at this time as “a shy, near-sighted child, always hiding away with a book.” By the time she was eleven years old, she was a precocious, erudite child whose favorite writers were Charles Dickens, Sir Walter Scott, Louisa May, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Voice of the Tide recalls Katharine’s earliest poetry, journal entries, and school compositions made while attending the Village Grammar School. At a young age Katharine confronts the realities of death and the hardships of a life raised by a widowed parent. She reflects on the people, lifestyles and habits of the town with its collection of crusty seafarers, diligent farmers, and pious Christians—ever maintaining her independent thought and progressive ideas.

 Katharine Lee Bates was a respected scholar during her lifetime (1859-1929), writing 23 volumes of prose and poetry and 31 diverse works as an editor and translator. Her passion for writing began as a child in Falmouth and continued while she was a student at Wellesley High School and as a post-graduate student for two years at Newton High School. In 1880, she was president of the second graduating class at Wellesley College and joined the faculty in 1886, where she taught English literature for 39 years.

 In Voice of the Tide, Leonard Miele introduces Katharine Lee Bates to a new generation of readers and shows how her childhood on Cape Cod influenced her thinking and writing all her life. It was in Falmouth where she acquired the Yankee values of independence, hard work, and common sense. Voice of the Tide is a reconstruction of the Falmouth that Katharine Lee Bates knew as a young girl and the writings that were inspired “by this fair sea-village, wrapt in its pearly haze.”

About the Author

Leonard Miele was an English major at college, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico and a Master’s degree from Northeastern University. Before retiring to Cape Cod, he taught English in the Brockton, Massachusetts public school system for thirty years. Along with writing articles about Cape Cod history in local newspapers and journals, he gives historical walks and lectures for the Falmouth Historical Society and other regional organizations. He is the president of the Friends of the Falmouth Public Library and of his neighborhood civic association. Leonard resides in Falmouth with his wife Stephanie, a vocalist and piano technician.