I love it when I hear about literature that uses Newburyport as a background. In this case Joel Brown has created two mystery novels that use our city as a backdrop. Much in the tradition of John Marquand, a different name is used instead of ‘Newburyport’. He calls us Libertyport and instead of Plum Island, Plover Island. (Considering the way the d__n Piping Plover rules the fate of the islanders – it aught to be!)
Knowing that Newburyport is no longer a byword on the lips of New Englanders, he deeply regrets not using correct place names and calls it a ‘marketing mistake’ in the recent article in the Newburyport Current.
I’m afraid he probably had no choice due to The Curse.
We’ve all experienced it. We wake up from a deep sleep remembering a vivid dream and marvel at its possible significance; but within an hour all is forgotten. It’s been happening to humanity for along time. Consider King Nebuchadnezzar and the disturbing dream he had over 2500 years ago.
I know exactly what happened. John Greenleaf Whittier came to him in a dream and told him that using real places would be a bad idea and probably suggested something like…Libertyport. Mr. Brown woke up and soon the vision was forgotten. And just as quickly, mistook subliminal suggestion for inspiration!
Alas, will the world every know of Newburyport!
Regardless, these books are a good read and I strongly suggest them plus you can pick out the real places and transpose them over his fictional labels.