It will be a very special AUTHOR’S NIGHT on SUNDAY OCTOBER 16 as we combine a scenic walk, a three-course Italian family-style dinner, three authors, two exciting new books and America’s first rural garden cemetery into one unforgettable evening.

The star of the evening is our own MOUNT AUBURN CEMETERY located on Mt Auburn Street in Cambridge, just a short drive from Stellina.  MOUNT AUBURN is world famous for its design, architecture, gardens, wildlife and monuments, as well for some of its more famous residents. TWO NEW BOOKS written by local experts highlight this amazing cemetery’s most noteworthy sites.

We’ve invited the authors of both books to Stellina for an Author’s Night discussion. But to make this event even more meaningful, it begins with our own private GUIDED TOUR OF MOUNT AUBURN.

The festivities starts with all attendees meeting at MOUNT AUBURN CEMETERY  at 4:00 ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 16 for a 1 1/2 hour walking tour conducted by Cemetery staff. This walk will cover all of the most interesting features of this amazing park. P.S. Special assistance is available for attendees with mobility issues. Please let us know in advance so that we can make arrangements.

After the walk everyone will congregate at STELLINA for the AUTHOR’ S NIGHT DINNER, featuring a three-course Italian menu served family-style in an informal setting. In between each course the authors, Stephen Kendrick of THE LIVELY PLACE and Melissa Banta and Meg L. Winslow of THE ART OF COMMEMORATION and AMERICA’S FIRST RURAL CEMETERY, will deliver readings, remarks and answer your questions.

The evening’s menu will be familiar to those who have attended our Sunday Night At The Opera series. We’ll serve a seasonal salad, homemade breads, three entrees and one of our famous homemade desserts.







In addition to the special menu, our complete wine, beer and cocktail list will be available for our guests. Copies of both books will be on sale at Stellina thanks to organizer Dick Haley of Haley Booksellers. The authors will be happy to sign the books.

Cost for the Author’s Night Walk, Talk and Dinner is $38 per person, which includes all food served. Beverages, tax and tip are extra. Reservations are required for all participants.

For Reservations call 617-924-9475 or go to the reservations page of this website.



1. Everyone meets at the Visitor’s Center at Mount Auburn Cemetery between 3:45 and 4:00. Click HERE for directions. Parking is available. Walking tour leaves at 4:00 for one and one half hour. Return to Visitor’s Center by 5:30.

2. The drive to Stellina is 10 minutes. Everyone will rendezvous there by 6:00 and be seated for our private dinner.

3. Beginning at 6:00 the three-course menu will be served, with the author’s speaking in between courses. Approximate time for the dinner is 2 hours.


The books being presented at AUTHOR’S NIGHT are described below:


The Art of Commemoration and America’s First Rural Cemetery:
Mount Auburn’s Significant Monument Collection
Written by Melissa Banta with Meg L. Winslow
Introductory essay by David B. Dearinger
Foreword by Dave Barnett, President and CEO of Mount Auburn Cemetery

Before the establishment of Boston’s public art museums, Mount Auburn Cemetery, founded in 1831, offered one of the few venues where the public could behold the work of European as well as the first generation of American sculptors and monument carvers. The first large-scale designed landscape open to the public in the country, Mount Auburn was a virtual outdoor museum—an interwoven tapestry of art and nature—featuring memorials by artists such as Thomas Crawford, Stanford White, and Edmonia Lewis.

This elegant volume explores Mount Auburn Cemetery’s monuments within the context of the development of American commemorative art in the mid-nineteenth century as Boston was becoming a center of patronage for sculpture. The meticulously researched publication includes a guide to each of the Cemetery’s thirty significant monuments, from the first life-size bronze statue cast in the United States to a delicate, vernacular carving of a child’s cradle. Among the individuals commemorated are poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, architect Charles Bulfinch, abolitionist Rev. Charles T. Torrey, religious founder Mary Baker Eddy, tailor and fugitive from slavery Peter Byus, art collector Francis Calley Gray, and Civil war hero Robert Gould Shaw.

The book is beautifully illustrated with black-and-white and color photographs by Greg Heins, Alan Ward, and Jennifer Johnston, and includes a glossary of memorial design types and symbolism.

Melissa Banta is a curator at Harvard Library’s Weissman Preservation Center and Harvard Business School’s Baker Library, and Meg Winslow is Mount Auburn Cemetery’s Curator of Historical Collections.


THE LIVELY PLACE by Stephen Kendrick (Beacon Press)

The story of one of the Boston area’s most famous attractions, the Mount Auburn Cemetery, and how its founders and “residents” have influenced American culture

When Mount Auburn Cemetery was founded, in 1831, it revolutionized the way Americans mourned the dead by offering a peaceful space for contemplation. This cemetery, located not far from Harvard University, was also a place that reflected and instilled an imperative to preserve and protect nature in a rapidly industrializing culture—lessons that would influence the creation of Central Park, the cemetery at Gettysburg, and the National Parks system. Even today this urban wildlife habitat and nationally recognized hotspot for migratory songbirds continues to connect visitors with nature and serves as a model for sustainable landscape practices. Beyond Mount Auburn’s prescient focus on conservation, it also reflects the impact of Transcendentalism and the progressive spirit in American life seen in advances in science, art, and religion and in social reform movements. In The Lively Place, Stephen Kendrick celebrates this vital piece of our nation’s history, as he tells the story of Mount Auburn’s founding, its legacy, and the many influential Americans interred there, from religious leaders to abolitionists, poets, and reformers

Stephen Kendrick is senior minister at the First Church in Boston, Unitarian Universalist. He is the author or coauthor of Holy Clues: The Gospel According to Sherlock Holmes, Sarah’s Long Walk: The Free Blacks of Boston and How Their Struggle for Equality Changed America, Douglass and Lincoln, and the novel Night Watch.