Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Artists of Lanesville - NATALIE SHIPMAN

This excerpt is from A Village at Lane's Cove by Barbara H Erkkila recently reprinted and available through Ten Pound Island Book Company. Barbara was the best chronicler of Lanesville and also authored the book Hammers on Stone-The History of Cape Ann Granite available in bookshops around Rockport and Gloucester, and The Cape Ann Museum giftshop.

The author Natalie Shipman of Boston came to Devil’s Rock quarry off High Street every summer with her husband, Gurdon Saltonstall Worcester, psychologist. Sometimes Miss Shipman collaborated with her husband on a novel such as Perchance to Dream and Way of the Heart.

Miss Shipman’s books, dating back to the twenties, are full of New York and Boston society characters against a background of “new” cocktail parties, fabulous weddings, and tuxedoed escorts packing silver pocket flasks as they whirled along in convertibles. There is always an almost heady romance-just the kind people liked to imagine and dream about as they struggled with the realities of the Great Depression.

After she was graduated from Vassar, Natalie Shipman spent a year abroad, then two years in editorial jobs, and even tackled summer repertory theatre. Spring Is a Woman was her first novel, although she had already written short stories for many publications. She wrote Follow Your Heart, Once Upon a Summer. Call Back Yesterday, and at least five novels under her pen name, Phyllis Arthur.

For years, Natalie kept two orange cats she called Baby and Bully. Both sat with her as she wrote or trailed along as she carried her freshly baked lemon cake to a neighbor’s house for tea.


  • Natalie (Shipman) Worcester was a wonderful neighbor from my childhood. Her husband Gurdon was quite a character! :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:39 PM  

  • Thanks for the memory!

    By Blogger Stan, at 9:25 PM  

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