Feminist reformer is talk topic

BAR HARBOR — June Vail will discuss her book “The Passion of Perfection: Gertrude Hitz Burton’s Modern Victorian Life” on Thursday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Jesup Memorial Library.

Burton, a feminist reformer whose writings and lectures in Washington D.C., Boston, and Maine promoted sex education, marriage equality and “voluntary motherhood,” was Vail’s great-grandmother.

“Burton’s true-life story has all the suspense of a good novel,” a statement from the library said. “While she confronts Gilded Age double standards by promoting sex education and marriage equality, incurable illness unexpectedly disrupted her life, ended her career and forced her to redefine success.”

Vail founded Bowdoin College’s dance program and, as professor, chaired the department of Theater and Dance for many years.

In 2010 Bowdoin honored her with its Distinguished Service Award for Faculty and Staff. Vail wrote dance criticism and essays for the Maine Times and the Portland Phoenix and contributed book chapters to several anthologies.

Her first book, “Cultural Choreographies,” explored dance cultures in Sweden.

Books will be on sale that night courtesy of co-sponsor Sherman’s Books. Contact 288-4245.

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