Eat lunch, learn history at HBF’s Book & A Bite

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Book & A Bite, Historic Beaufort Foundation’s lunch time book and author series, will feature the author and the Beaufort illustrator of “Water to My Soul: The Story of Eliza Lucas Pinckney,” Wednesday, November 30. All “Book & a Bite” programs are at noon in the Verdier House ballroom, 801 Bay St.
Award-winning author Pamela Bauer Mueller will introduce Pinckney’s exceptional life in the colonial-era Lowcountry and her impact on the region’s economy. Along with local photo restoration artist Gini Steele, Mueller also will discuss their collaboration on the book and its production.
Called the first important agriculturalist in the U.S., Pinckney took over the operation of three Charleston plantations when her mother died. At 17 years old, she began cultivating and creating improved strains of indigo. In 1745 only about 5,000 pounds of indigo were exported from the Charleston area, but due to her success, that volume grew to 130,000 pounds within two years. Indigo became second only to rice as a cash crop.
Pinckney was so well-regarded by her contemporaries that President George Washington served as one of the pallbearers at her funeral.
Author Mueller’s life took exotic turns as a model, an actress, a customs agent, a Spanish teacher and eventually to the writing of historical novels for children and adults. She won Georgia Author of the Year awards in 2006, 2008 and 2009. She also has been recognized with an Independent Publisher Book Award.
Illustrator Gini Steele contributed her talent for restoring and reproducing historic images to the book. She and her husband, Richard, operate Steele Studio in which they have created an extensive collection of historic photos of the coastal southeast.
“Book & A Bite” tickets are $5 per person. Those who attend are invited to bring lunch. Beverages will be served and guests are welcome to tour the house and its exhibits after the program. Call 379-3331 with questions.

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