Historic Chicago in Bright and Distant Shores: Background information when reading Bright and Distant Shores

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Bright and Distant Shores

A Novel

by Dominic Smith

Bright and Distant Shores by Dominic Smith
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Sep 2011, 480 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Beverly Melven

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Historic Chicago in Bright and Distant Shores

Print Review

In Bright and Distant Shores, Dominic Smith references some of the historic people and events that helped shape Chicago around the turn of the 20th century. Read on for more information about these fascinating institutions:

  • Hull House - a resource for new immigrants to the U.S. established by two women in 1889. They offered a nursery, classes in English, technical skills, and other services to help immigrants be successful in their new country. (In Bright and Distant Shores, Adelaide volunteers here).

  • Field Museum - originally called the Columbian Museum of Chicago, it was established as a result of the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition in 1893 (where Owen and Adelaide first meet). Exhibits from the fair were given a permanent residence, and the museum grew from there.

  • World's Columbian Exposition - an event to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus's landing in the New World (though held a year late, in 1893). Artifacts and native peoples were brought in for display.

  • Franz Boas (bow-az) - one of the biggest names in American Anthropology who, in Smith's novel, works with Adelaide at the Fielding Museum.

  • George Dorsey - also an anthropologist in Chicago in the early to mid 1900s. The events referred to in the text (him being arrested for grave-robbing, and him testifying in court cases) are historically accurate, and demonstrate the wide range of professional standards in the field of anthropology in its formative years.

  • The Panic of 1893 - the largest stock market crash until the Great Depression of 1929. Hale Gray talks about overcoming the negative economic effects of this and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, still a factor 20 years later. (To learn more about the Great Chicago Fire, read BookBrowse's "Beyond the Book" feature on the topic.)


Victorians and Their Collections

For more information on the turn-of the-century obsession with collecting artifacts, read BookBrowse's "Beyond the Book" feature entitled, "Victorians and Their Collections".

Article by Beverly Melven

This article is from the November 17, 2011 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access become a member today.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Ghachar Ghochar
    by Vivek Shanbhag
    The Bengaluru (aka Bangalore) that has dominated economic news headlines over the past decade is the...
  • Book Jacket: Caught in the Revolution
    Caught in the Revolution
    by Helen Rappaport
    So taken were BookBrowse's First Impression reviewers by the inside look at the start of the Russian...
  • Book Jacket: Hillbilly Elegy
    Hillbilly Elegy
    by J.D. Vance
    In this illuminating memoir, Vance recounts his trajectory from growing up a "hillbilly" in ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Atomic Weight of Love
by Elizabeth J. Church

In the spirit of The Aviator's Wife, this resonant debut spans from World War II through the Vietnam War.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Lola
    by Melissa Scrivner Love

    An astonishing debut crime thriller about an unforgettable woman.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Mercies in Disguise
    by Gina Kolata

    A story of hope, a family's genetic destiny, and the science that rescued them.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Good as it is to inherit a library, it is better to collect one.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O My D B

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -