UNE historian Elizabeth De Wolfe's Murder of Mary Bean receives national book awards

June 18, 2008

University of New England Professor Elizabeth De Wolfe’s book The Murder of Mary Bean and Other Stories was recently recognized with two national awards – The Independent Publisher Book Awards’ bronze medal in the True Crime category and ForeWord Magazine’s silver medal in its Book of the Year Awards’ True Crime category.

Both awards recognize independently published titles. ForeWord Magazine‚Äôs Book of the Year Award highlights the year‚Äôs best in literary and graphic performance; winners were chosen by the collaborative reviews of readers, librarians, and booksellers and announced at the 2008 BookExpo America in Los Angeles.  The Independent Publisher Book Awards received 3,175 entries from 49 states and 16 countries.

The book‚Äôs success came as a surprise to De Wolfe, who was unaware it had been entered in either competition. The Murder of Mary Bean and Other Stories had already inspired the theme for Saco Museum‚Äôs (Saco, Maine) 2007 Maine history walk display and was the subject of a student-run exhibit at the museum in May 2008. 

As chair and professor of UNE’s Department of History and co-director of the Women’s Studies Program, De Wolfe enjoys sharing the stories of women: “I like writing books about women that people have never heard about. These aren’t famous women. These are women who had 15 minutes of unfortunate fame.”

De Wolfe also wrote Shaking the Faith: Women, Family, and Mary Marshall Dyer's Anti-Shaker Campaign, 1815-1867 (2002), which received the Communal Studies Association’s Outstanding Book Award in 2003. She is currently working on a sequel to Shaking the Faith that is slated for release in 2009.

De Wolfe earned her Ph.D. in American and New England studies from Boston University in 1996, an M.A. in anthropology from the State University of New York/Albany in 1985 and a B.A. in social science from Colgate University in 1983.  In 2004 she was awarded the University of New England‚Äôs highest honor, the Kenneally Cup, in recognition of her excellence in teaching and service; she also holds UNE‚Äôs 2008-09 Ludcke Chair of Liberal Arts and Sciences.  More information on De Wolfe ...

Although De Wolfe is tight-lipped about details of the research she will conduct during her upcoming sabbatical, she says, “it is a 19th century project about a politician in power, it involves seduction, and the woman wins.”