News and Events

November 23, 2021

What an enchanting podcast on Sarah Josepha Hale by Chris Flannery on the Claremont Institute’s “The American Story.” Chris captures Mrs. Hale beautifully in just seven minutes.

November 22, 2021

John Meiller and I discuss four centuries of Thanksgiving on Wisconsin Public Radio.

November 22, 2021

It’s delightful to be back with Tim Anaya and Rowena Itchon to talk about Thanksgiving on their podcast for the Pacific Research Institute. Yes, George Washington’s favorite drink was Madeira wine. And no, I’m not keen to drink it with my turkey on Thanksgiving Day.

November 21, 2021

Delighted to join Jon Delano on KDKA Pittsburgh to chat about all things Thanksgiving.

November 16, 2021

It was great to be back on Ed Martin’s show on the ProAmerica network. This time I talked about Thanksgiving, but I couldn’t resist mentioning you-know-who. (Sarah Josepha Hale!)

November 15, 2021

Here’s a link to C-Span’s BookTV and its broadcast of the Hudson Institute’s event on Lady Editor. Judging from the number of emails I got from friends who happened upon the show, I sure know a lot of bookworms, You’ll have to scroll past the tail end of the presentation by the estimable Gordon Wood presentation before my segment begins.

November 11, 2021

Tune in to C-Span BookTV on Sunday, November 14, to watch me talk about Sarah Josepha Hale, women’s education, and all things Thanksgiving with Ann Marie Hauser of the Hudson Institute. Repeats on November 28 and 29.

November 8, 2021

I enjoyed speaking with the Sons of History about Lady Editor. Thanks, Dustin and Alan for having me on your podcast.

November 3, 2021

The title of my Zoom talk to my Class of 1973 Princeton classmates this evening was “Mr. Lincoln, Mrs. Hale, and Thanksgiving.” Very enjoyable, but I have to improve my Power Point skills.

November 2, 2021

Many thanks to John Miller, director of the journalism program at Hillsdale College, for an eye-opening visit to Hillsdale College this week. John’s students are impressive. Student Ryan Young was a skillful interviewer on Radio Free Hillsdale.

October 24, 2021

I enjoyed my conversation with the estimable Mark Bauerlein, who hosts a marvelous podcast at First Things magazine, the preeminent journal of religion. Hale was a prolific author, the editor of the most widely circulated magazine of the antebellum period, and the godmother of our Thanksgiving holiday. But if you had asked her what was her most important role in life, I think she would have responded: I am a mother.

October 6, 2021

Thank you to the Hudson Institute in Washington for hosting a marvelous book event for Lady Editor. The effervescent Ann Marie Hauser was my interlocutor.

October 5, 2021

The paperback version of Thanksgiving: The Holiday at the Heart of the American Experience is published today — just in time for next month’s 400th anniversary of the First Thanksgiving. I’ve written a preface to this edition about progressives’ war on Thanksgiving.

September 21, 2021

Who knew that talk radio has emigrated to Europe? It was fun to be on Talk Radio Europe’s Lifestyles Show to talk about Sarah Josepha Hale and her impact on American culture.

September 13, 2021

Thank you to PEO New York State and president Lisa Blystone for inviting me to present a webinar on Lady Editor last night. Education for women was Sarah Josepha Hale’s passion — and it remains the passion of PEO, now 152 years old and going strong.

September 8, 2021

Such a pleasure to speak in the lovely garden of the Beekley Library in New Hartford, CT this week. Thanks to friends and neighbors for giving such a warm welcome to me and Lady Editor!

September 1, 2021

From Education Next, a journal published by Harvard’s Kennedy School, my article on how Hale helped open the teaching profession to women.

August 30, 2021

From New Hampshire’s Valley News, a lovely feature story on Lady Editor.

August 26, 2021

Really enjoyed my conversation the other day with Pro America’s Ed Martin.

August 24, 2021

What a lovely spread Monday about Lady Editor in Claremont, N.H.’s (page 13). I’m reminded that when Hale opened a millinery shop in Newport after the death of her husband in 1822, she announced it in the Claremont paper. The heading was “New Goods, and New Fashions.” Needlework was the only respectable occupation available to a lady who had fallen on hard times, and Hale hated the shop. It was part of her motivation to write — eventually becoming one of the first women to earn a living by her pen.

August 24, 2021

I’m honored to be invited to speak about Lady Editor at the New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord, the state capital. My lecture will take place a week from today, August 31, at 6 p.m.

August 23, 2021

If you find yourself near Newport, New Hampshire on Saturday (August 28), I hope you’ll stop by the Apple Pie Crafts Fair and hear me speak about Newport’s hometown heroine, Sarah Josepha Hale, born there on October 24, 1788. My talk is at 2 at the Richards Free Library’s tent.

August 23, 2021

I enjoyed talking about Mrs. Hale with Daniel Nicholas Gullotta on his Age of Jackson podcast, which covers people and issues from the antebellum period.

August 20, 2021

If you’re a reader, you should know about  It emails to subscribers a short daily excerpt from a current book – usually history or biography. I’ve been a satisfied subscriber for years – especially today, when an excerpt from Lady Editor popped into my in box.

August 16, 2021

It was great to speak with Jamie Bologna on WBUR Radio Boston about Hale’s work and views. Interesting discussion on Hale’s opinion of Liberia, the African country established by freed American slaves.

August 16, 2021

Thank you Eric Metaxas for having me on your show to discuss Sarah Josepha Hale’s role in making Thanksgiving a national holiday and her other contributions to American history and culture.

August 14, 2021

I thank National Review’s literary editor, Katherine Howell, for her warm review of Lady Editor. She writes: “Kirkpatrick has dusted off the cobwebs — uncovering a mind worth encountering and an American life worth honoring.

August 9, 2021

It was splendid to chat about Lady Editor with John J. Miller of Hillsdale and National Review on his Bookmonger podcast. John always knows just what to ask.

August 7, 2021

II am delighted that The Wall Street Journal invited me to review “New Women of the Old West” for the paper’s always-terrific weekend book section. Many of the strong women profiled in “New Women” would have read Godey’s Lady’s Book, which its brilliant Lady Editor, Sarah Josepha Hale, built into one of the first national magazines.

August 4, 2021

Really enjoyed my conversation with Ro Itchon and Tim Anaya of the great Pacific Research Institute on their Last Round podcast. Tim and Ro work near Napa County — hence the title of their podcast — and we got to talking about wine. Specifically that famous French wine maker –Madame Clicquot, whose famous Champagne bears her name. Hale was a widow for 57 year, Clicquot for more than 60 years. The deaths of their husbands propelled these amazing women to great achievements in the first half of the 19th century. I like to think Mrs. Hale–despite her temperance views–would have enjoyed drinking some of Mrs. Clicquot’s bubbly while comparing war stories about women and work.

August 3, 2021

It’s official! Lady Editor was published today. According to the Yale Bibliography of American Literature, Hale wrote, edited or contributed to 129 books. This is my third book. It looks like I have 123 to go!

July 2, 2021

For the July 4 weekend, consider the words that Sarah Josepha Hale wrote in 1828 about the American republic: “Democracies have been, and governments called free: but the spirit of independence and the consciousness of unalienable rights were never before transfused into the minds of a whole people….The feeling of equality which they proudly cherish does not proceed from an ignorance of their station, but from the knowledge of their rights; and it is this knowledge which will render it so exceedingly difficult for any tyrant ever to triumph over the liberties of our country.”

June 30, 2021

How nice to see my alma mater’s mention of Lady Editor in its alumni magazine.  Especially so since I was one of the first women to graduate from Princeton – in the Class of 1973. Sarah Josepha Hale, who spent 50 years advocating for higher education for women,  never imagined women studying at what was then called the College of New Jersey! Lady Editor will be published on August 3.

June 1, 2021

Lady Editor will be published on August 3, nine Tuesdays from today.

May 24, 2021

So exciting! The advance reader’s copies of Lady Editor went out this week. If you’re a member of the media and would like one, we’ll happy mail or email you a copy. Please contact Lauren Miklos at Encounter Books:

April 30, 2021

One hundred forty-two years ago today, Hale died peacefully in her bed at home in Philadelphia. She was ninety years old.

April 9, 2021

The Wall Street Journal published my review of three extraordinary women who lived around the same time as Hale.  I expect they read the Ladies’ Magazine and Godey’s Lady’s Book.