Valentine of local chocolate, wine and book

Feb 01, 2013
Kathryn Miles

Rockland — The Apprenticeshop will opens its doors for all to enjoy a Valentine cocktail hour including a chocolate tasting, conviviality and a book reading Thursday, Feb. 14, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the school for traditional boatbuilding and seamanship located at 643 Main St. This event is part of the 2013 Second Thursdays at The Apprenticeshop lecture series. Admission is $5.

Chocolatier Blue of Camden will provide a sampling of their wares made with the highest quality ingredients from all over the world including pistachios from Sicily, Ennis hazelnuts from a small farm in Washington and fleur de sel salt from Camargue, France. Sweetgrass Farm Winery and Distillery of Union will be offer samplers its Blueberry Wine, Cranberry and Blueberry ports and the popular Back River Gin.

Highlighted this evening will be a book reading of “All Standing: The Remarkable Story of the Jeanie Johnston, The Legendary Irish Famine Ship” by author and historian Kathryn Miles of Belfast. In “All Standing,” Miles recounts the dramatic tale of a legendary ship that ran between Ireland and North America during the height of the Irish Famine. During this time, the people of Ireland emigrated to North America in search of job opportunities and a better life, crowding onto aptly named coffin ships whose gruesome conditions rivaled those of slave transports. But unlike every other coffin ship, the Jeanie Johnston never lost a passenger.

“All Standing” follows the life of Nicholas Reilly, the baby boy born on the ship’s maiden voyage; his fellow passengers; and the heroic crew members who transported them to safety. Using newspaper accounts, rare archival documents, and her own experience sailing as an apprentice aboard the recently recreated Jeanie Johnston, Miles tells the story of these remarkable people and the revolutionary milieu in which they set sail. The tale of each individual is extraordinary in and of itself; read collectively, however, they paint a portrait of bravery in the face of a new world order. Against the backdrop of one of history’s greatest atrocities, Miles weaves a thrilling, intimate narrative of the immigrant experience, while chronicling how one Irish family found a place for itself in the United States.

Miles is a professor of environmental writing at Unity College. She is the author of “Adventures With Ari” and dozens of articles that have appeared in publications including Alimentum, Best American Essays, Ecotone, Flyway, Meatpaper and Terrain.

For more information, call 594-1800 or visit

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or

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