Local author Lockhart releases two books

Barbara Lockhart

RHODESDALE — Barbara Lockhart announced last week the release of “Collected Stories” today. On the same day, the award-winning author from Dorchester County will re-launch her historical novel titled Elizabeth’s Field. Both books are published by Secant Publishing in Salisbury.

In “Collected Stories,” Lockhart captures the flavor of small town and rural Eastern Shore in Maryland. The tone is set with the first story, “Beginning with Puckum,” which finds Christmas angels detaching themselves from lampposts on Main Street and rendering a bird’s eye view of a typical small town.
The symbolism is found in the stories that follow as the author imbues her character studies with depth and insight. One of the chapters is called “Crab Feast” which is truly an Eastern Shore tradition. Originally published under the title, “The Night is Young,” “Collected Stories” has been updated with new material including five previously unpublished stories.

“Elizabeth’s Field” is the story of the free black population living in Dorchester County, the birthplace and home county of Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman, in the years just prior to the Civil War. The main character, Elizabeth, is a free black woman who owns 22 acres in a time when free blacks and the enslaved lived in continuous tension and uncertainty about their futures.

Elizabeth’s story and that of Sam Green, the local minister who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for possessing a copy of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, attest to the turmoil that wracked the Eastern Shore. Originally published in 2012, “Elizabeth’s Field” is being re-released at a time when issues of racial inequality and justice are again at the forefront of the national agenda and interest in African-American history is high.

Commenting on Collected Stories and Elizabeth’s Field, Lockhart said, “I’m thrilled to offer my updated Collected Stories which are set on the Eastern Shore because I love the small town life. The re-release of Elizabeth’s Field is very timely considering what is going on in the world today.

In researching the history of my farm, I learned about the woman who owned it in the 1850s. That information, coupled with an oral history from my neighbor, inspired me to write a fictional account of the people who lived here before the Civil War.”