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Anna Hubbard: Out of the Shadows
     

Anna Hubbard: Out of the Shadows

by Mia Cunningham
 

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For forty-three years Anna Hubbard (1902-1986) and her husband, Kentucky painter and writer Harlan Hubbard (1900-1988), lived a splendidly civilized life that was also simple and close to nature. Early in their marriage they made a long, adventurous drifting journey down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers in a shantyboat. "Far from leaving anything behind," Anna wrote of

Overview

For forty-three years Anna Hubbard (1902-1986) and her husband, Kentucky painter and writer Harlan Hubbard (1900-1988), lived a splendidly civilized life that was also simple and close to nature. Early in their marriage they made a long, adventurous drifting journey down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers in a shantyboat. "Far from leaving anything behind," Anna wrote of that trip years later, "we took with us all that was most worthwhile out of our previous living."

Harlan wrote, in his books and journals, of the shantyboating years and his settling with Anna in 1952 on the Trimble County, Kentucky, shore of the Ohio at Payne Hollow. He wrote of the satisfactions of providing for themselves, without electricity, and about the pleasures of their leisure -- painting, writing, reading, and playing music. He wrote rapturously about the river, the seasons, and the landscape. But in matters of human relations Harlan was emotionally reticent, and he wrote little about Anna.

Thousands of visitors to Payne Hollow witnessed the Hubbards' gifts for simple, yet artful, living. They also saw how Anna's intelligence and gracious hospitality made the Hubbards' small house seem grander than a mansion. Supporting Harlan's creativity, she was his courage, yet she took an equal part in shaping their life so that her own needs were met.

Meanwhile Anna, the product of a Victorian and Dutch upbringing, was reserved and private. Her feelings were often hidden from her closest friends, from Harlan, and even from herself. The questions that readers of Harlan's books have always asked about Anna have gone unanswered, and the story of her life has been untold -- until now.

Mia Cunningham grew up in a house built by Harlan, visited the couple during childhood summers, and corresponded with Anna for twenty-eight years. Cunningham sought out others who had known the Hubbards, examined Anna's unpublished writings, and discovered correspondence between Anna and girlhood friends that revealed little-known dimensions of her personality.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Cunningham goes beyond her own experiences and circumstances to find out more about their lives, which gives this portrait well-roundedness." — Ashland Independence

"Cunningham has taken Anna, as the title suggests, out of Harlan's larger shadow and allows her to occupy her own moment in the limelight." — Bowling Green Daily News

"Offers the reader another side of this fascinating woman. Her motivations, resolve and eventual steely determination to live a life so different from our own make this biography a rewarding read." — Chevy Chaser Magazine

"Meticulously research and fills many gaps in our knowledge....The narrative is skillfully woven together with the author's reflections on the feelings Anna rarely allowed anyone to know." — Filson History Quarterly

"Insightful and touching.... Takes Anna out of the shadows of her famous husband and reveals a multi-dimensional woman with deep commitments to her husband and the life they chose." — Kentucky Monthly

"Captures the complex markers that rendered an extraordinary, yet difficult, life dynamic." — Lexington Herald-Leader

"Cunningham delivers a rich and compelling story of Anna Hubbard. Her observations of Anna's life shed light on a woman who tended to remain in the shadows." — Northern Kentucky Heritage

"This lovely book includes excerpts from Anna's private journal, Anna's recipes, a selected bibliography with works on the Hubbards, and photos of Anna and Harlan taken on the river boat trips and at Payne Hollow." — Ohioana Quarterly

"Using Anna's letters and her personal relationship with Anna, Mia Cunningham has both personalized and humanized Anna's story. This is likely to be the definitive work on Anna Hubbard." — Robert J. Rosenthal

"Cunningham peels back the layers of Anna's life — first, the biographical facts, then her roles as homemaker and wife to Harlan, and finally her private, secret life, her hidden heart." — Wade Hall

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813121895
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
Publication date:
05/28/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

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