Bowdoin Releases Chamberlain Memoir ‘Blessed Boyhood’

Blessed Boyhood: The ‘Early Memoir’ of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, edited by Richard Lindemann

“Blessed Boyhood”: The ‘Early Memoir’ of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, edited by Richard Lindemann

Bowdoin has just released a new publication, “Blessed Boyhood”: The ‘Early Memoir’ of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, in conjunction with this year’s Alumni College commemorating the Civil WarLaunched in an August 10 ceremony at the college’s Museum of Art, the book is now available for purchase at The Bowdoin Store.

“Chamberlain was encouraged in old age to write this early memoir of his life by a publisher,” said Director of Special Collections Richard Lindemann, “but the work has never seen its way into print in its entirety until now.”

Edited by Lindemann, the memoir includes annotations by alum David Thomson ’08 and historian Thomas Desjardin, as well as a foreword by U.S. Senator Angus King H’07.

Chamberlain writes of the joys and struggles of his early life before he headed off to fight for the Union. The account spans from his childhood to his student years at Bowdoin — where he overcame stammering, among other accomplishments — to his experiences of starting a teaching career and a family.

“Chamberlain’s memoir is a remarkable, tangible link between Bowdoin and the Civil War,” said Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd. “We’re very pleased to bring that to a larger audience in honor of the sesquicentennial.”

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