George Nixon Black and his dog in a photo from "The House at Lobster Cove." PHOTO COURTESY OF JANE GOODRICH

Book traces G.N. Black’s journey

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Local author Jane Goodrich will talk about her novel, “The House at Lobster Cove,” at the Southwest Harbor Public Library on Saturday, June 2, from 1:30-3 p.m.


The novel is a fictionalized biography of George Nixon Black, heir to a Boston real estate fortune and the owner-builder of the shingle-style house Kragsyde, designed by architect Robert Swain Peabody and set upon a high rock outcropping at Lobster Cove in picturesque Manchester-by-the-Sea, Mass.

His greenhouses held rare plants, his collection of antiques and paintings were extraordinary, and his patronage of the arts favored unknown female artists. Each winter, he quietly boarded a luxury Europe-bound steamship with a man 18 years his junior. Despite a privileged youth marred by violence and uncertainty, contrasted with the danger his lifestyle and secrets placed him in, his ability to obtain happiness and be himself was remarkable.

While Black was probably content to slip away unnoticed, Kragsyde was to have no such fate. Garnering much attention when it was first built and adored by architects and scholars ever since, the famous house has made it impossible for Black to fully disappear. In “The House at Lobster Cove,” Goodrich goes behind the doors of Kragsyde and tells a family saga and love story that is both engaging and evocative of a time gone by.

Goodrich also shares her own personal journey in the book. Although Kragsyde was demolished in 1929, it was later rebuilt in detail by Goodrich and her husband, doing all the work themselves on an island off the coast of Maine.

The book has been called “a loving testament to George Nixon Black and his house … and the secrets they both held.”

For more about the book and Goodrich, visit

For more about this event, contact the library at 244-7065.



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