News Archive 2009-2018

Audio: Larry Hall ’36 Reads Famous Christmas Story, ‘The Ledge’ Archives

Lawrence Sargent Hall ’36


An event in the waters off of Harpswell neck, not far from where English professor Lawrence Sargent Hall ’36 lived on Orr’s Island, inspires his O. Henry Award-winning short story, “The Ledge,” which is set on Christmas day.

Listen to Hall read “The Ledge,” recorded in 1959.




3 thoughts on “Audio: Larry Hall ’36 Reads Famous Christmas Story, ‘The Ledge’

  1. Paul Batista

    I read this story as a junior in high school. It, along with the fact that Longfellow and Hawthorne were graduates, made me want to attend the college. And in my freshman year Lawrence Hall was my teacher. He was a remarkable man: terse, plain-spoken, not a touchy feely kind of guy. He was engrossed in writing his only novel, Stowaway, and was not having fun with it. As I recall he lived on Orrs Island, had a beautiful wife, and like many writers of that era drank too much. But he did produce this remarkable story.

  2. David Lander

    He was an extraordinary teacher for our freshman English section where we studied Kafka, Dosteyevsky, Melville, Hemmingway and Hesse. He gave each of us a great deal of his wisdom mixed with a dark cynicism. Speaking of dark, i read The Ledge for the first time when it appeared in the best short stories of the twentieth century. Excellent and dark. I look forward to listening to the reading of the story but will wait until i am in the right mood.

  3. Christopher H. Hanks '68

    Two stories:

    In 1964, fraternities were the main source of food for the student body, so incoming freshmen “pledged” in their first week on campus. And as a new pledge at Theta Delta Chi, the brothers gave me and my fellow pledges the task of finding out where Lawrence Hall was located. It took us a couple of days to realize they were messing with us.

    2nd story: I was lucky enough to draw Professor Hall for freshman English. I remember him getting exasperated with me when I complained that Cathy’s failure to choose Heathcliff didn’t make any sense. Anyway, one day in class, Professor Hall put his pipe in the pocket of his jacket and set himself on fire.

    His class was easily one of the best I had at Bowdoin. He taught us how to read.

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