Curtis Library will host a book talk with Tilly Laskey about her new book “Precious & Adored: The Love Letters of Rose Cleveland and Evangeline Simpson Whipple, 1890-1918,” at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9. Laskey is co-editor of this collection of letters, published in their entirety, that document almost 30 years of love between two women of the gilded age. 

In 1890, Rose Cleveland, sister of President Grover Cleveland, began writing to Evangeline Simpson, a wealthy widow who would become the second wife of Henry Whipple, Minnesota’s Episcopal bishop. The women corresponded across states and continents, discussing their advocacy and humanitarian work—and demonstrating their sexual attraction, romance, and partnership. In 1910, after Evangeline Whipple was again widowed, the two women sailed to Italy and began a life together. 

This collection, rare in its portrayal of 19 century LGBTQ history, brings their poignant story back to life,” a news release states. 

A native of Maine, Laskey received her BA from the University of Maine, and her MS in Museum Studies, Anthropology, and Art History from the University of Colorado. She has curated at nationally-recognized museums in Maine, Minnesota, and South Dakota. Laskey was awarded the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship in 2011, allowing her to travel to Italy and spend time in the homes and haunts of Cleveland and Whipple in Bagni di Lucca. 

In 2014, Laskey joined the Maine Historical Society in Portland, and currently works as Curator. 

Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing.  

Registration for this event not required.  For more information, visit or call the reference desk at (207) 725-5242.   

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