Connie Burns is a school librarian in South Portland with a hidden passion: the lives of Victorian women. In pursuit of her passion, Burns researched Margaret Jane Mussey Sweat (1823-1908) for her Master’s thesis in the American and New England Studies program at the University of Southern Maine. Sweat is best remembered for her bequest of the mansion that would become the Portland Museum of Art, but she was also a published author and an influential member of Portland’s elite during her life. Here, Burns reads from Sweat’s diary and letters (held in the Maine Women Writer’s Collection) and discusses her role in Victorian society.
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