Lafayette Library & Learning Center Foundation
Writing Themselves into History
Early California history vividly comes to life through the private journals and letters of two extraordinary women, Emily Ketchum and Matilda Griffing, the wives of author Kim Bancroft’s great-great-grandfather, historian and collector H. H. Bancroft.
In Writing Themselves into History, Kim Bancroft presents these women’s perceptive reflections on life in the still early days of California, paying special attention to their complex and nuanced portraits of gender, race, and class in the nineteenth-century West. Detailing Emily’s and Matilda’s experiences with public life, motherhood, and business against the backdrop of San Francisco’s high society and the state’s growth amidst the tumult of the American Civil War.
Kim Bancroft is a longtime teacher turned editor and writer. In 2014, Kim edited H.H.Bancroft's 1890 autobiography, Literary Industries. She also wrote a biography of the founder of Heyday Books, called The Heyday of Malcolm Margolin: The Damn Good Times of a Fiercely Independent Publisher.
Appearing in 19th century period dress and sharing slides from her book, Kim will also introduce her storytelling workshop “Legacy and Memory," facilitating conversations about how we can best utilize all the archives of our family and ourselves now tucked away in attics and basements. What options do we have for organizing, sorting, and presenting old letters and diaries, perhaps creating stories preserved for future generations?