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For further information, contact the MBL Communications Office at (508) 289-7423 or e-mail us at comm@mbl.edu

For Immediate Release: December 21, 2009
Contact: Gina Hebert, MBL, 508-289-7725; ghebert@mbl.edu

Bestselling Author Nathaniel Philbrick to Discuss Upcoming Book on Battle of Little Bighorn at MBL Falmouth Forum


MBL, WOODS HOLE, MA—Award-winning author Nathaniel Philbrick will offer a sneak preview of his upcoming book, The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn, on Friday, January 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the MBL’s (Marine Biological Laboratory’s) Lillie Auditorium, 7 MBL Street, Woods Hole. Philbrick’s lecture, titled Starting at Standing Rock: Following Custer and Sitting Bull to the Little Bighorn, is the Herman T. Epstein Endowed Memorial Lecture, and is sponsored by the MBL Associates. All Falmouth Forum lectures are free and open to the public.

In 2007 Philbrick traveled to the Standing Rock Sioux Agency in North Dakota to research his new book The Last Stand (Viking, May, 2010). For two weeks, he ventured up the Missouri River to Fort Lincoln, home to General George Custer’s Seventh Cavalry, and then followed Custer’s route more than three hundred miles to the Little Bighorn National Monument in Crow Agency, Montana. In his Falmouth Forum lecture, Philbrick will talk about the challenges he faced writing a book about the American West, as an author whose books have previously focused on maritime topics. Philbrick will also discuss the unexpected importance that photographs and native artwork had in shaping his understanding of the battle and its participants.

After moving to Nantucket in 1986, Philbrick wrote Away Off Shore: Nantucket Island and Its People. In 1996 he founded the island’s Egan Maritime Institute where he served as Founding Director until 1998. In 2000, Philbrick published the international best seller In the Heart of the Sea, for which he received the 2000 National Book Award. He followed its success with Sea of Glory: The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842, which was awarded the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize for maritime writing, and Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War, which details the voyage of the Mayflower and the settlement of Plymouth Colony and was a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in History.

Philbrick has degrees from Brown and Duke Universities and is a Research Fellow in History at the Nantucket Historical Association. He has also written several books about sailing. He lives on Nantucket with his wife. They have two grown children.

A buffet dinner is available before the Philbrick lecture at 6:00 p.m. in the Swope Center located near the auditorium. Dinner tickets are $25 and must be purchased in advance at either Eight Cousins Children’s Books, Main Street, Falmouth, or at the MBL’s Communications Office in the Candle House, 127 Water Street in Woods Hole. Dinner seats are limited and tickets are only available until they sell out or until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 5th. All tickets are nonrefundable. For more information contact the MBL’s Communications Office at 508-289-7423.

All Falmouth Forum lectures, performances and presentations are sponsored by the MBL Associates for the Cape Cod community and feature topics in the arts, humanities and health. They are always free and open to the public.

The series will continue throughout the winter. The remaining lectures are:

January 22
"Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Two Works in Progress: Over the River, Project for the Arkansas River, Colorado; The Mastaba, Project for The United Arab Emirates" – Christo, creator of highly celebrated works of art across the globe

March 5
"The Big Dig or The Big Pig?" - Dan McNichol, award-winning author of The Big Dig and The Roads That Built America

For more information and for full lecture descriptions, visit http://www.mbl.edu/falmouthforum.


The MBL is a leading international, independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to discovery and to improving the human condition through creative research and education in the biological, biomedical and environmental sciences. Founded in 1888 as the Marine Biological Laboratory, the MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the Americas. For more information, visit www.MBL.edu.

The MBL Associates are a group of individuals and businesses that support the scientific mission of the MBL through their gifts to the Annual Fund. The Associates sponsor educational and research programs for the MBL and raise funds for special projects. In addition, they operate the MBL Associates Gift Shop, located on Water Street in Woods Hole, the profits from which support scientific fellowships.