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The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Reception to follow
Members: $15

The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve

Stephen Greenblatt

With the insight, eloquence, and erudition that have thrilled hundreds of thousands of readers of his books about Shakespearean England and the Italian Renaissance, Stephen Greenblatt breathes new life into the ancient story of Adam and Eve. He tracks the story’s origins back into humanity’s deep past and its first written form to the Hebrews’ exile in Babylon. Returning to us a precious cultural inheritance, The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve is an exploration of the value of the humanities through the life of one of humankind’s greatCredit: Stepahie Mitchell/Harvard Universityest stories.

Stephen Greenblatt is Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. He is general editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature, as well as the author of eleven books, including The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (winner of the 2011 National Book Award and the 2012 Pulitzer Prize). He has edited seven collections of criticism, including Cultural Mobility: A Manifesto, and is a founding coeditor of the journal Representations. He was president of the Modern Language Association of America and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

In 1867, Emily Austin Wadsworth gave the Boston Athenæum a marble sculpture of Adam and Eve by Thomas Crawford. The emotive and poignantly rendered neoclassical sculpture is currently located in the Bayard Henry Long Room on the first floor. View Crawford’s Adam and Eve on your next visit and compare it to other neoclassical sculptures, such as Horatio Greenough’s Venus Victrix or Jean-Antoine Houdon’s George Washington.

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Auto-generated captions are available for most virtual programs. To request live captioning or other accommodations, please contact Hannah Weisman at or 617-720-7617 at least four business days prior to the event.