A storied visit: Edmund Morris speaks at Houghton Library

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During the historic “Blizzard of 1978,” Edmund Morris forced open the door of his snowed-in Cambridge hotel and made his way across the quieted Harvard Yard to Widener Library to continue his research on the figure that would make him famous.

Thirty-five years, a few more snowstorms and a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt later, Morris made his way back to the University on the occasion of his new book celebrating America’s 26th president.

“These polished precincts do evoke memories,” Morris said.

The author delivered a talk on the book, titled “Nine Lives of Theodore Roosevelt,” in the Edison and Newman Room at Houghton Library on March 27. Houghton and Widener libraries are home to the University’s Theodore Roosevelt Collection, a major resource of original manuscripts, speeches, books, photographs and ephemera relating to Roosevelt’s personal and professional life.

“TR, as he’s known around here — never Teddy — is the most multifaceted and thus fascinating president,” said Curator of the Theodore Roosevelt Collection Heather Cole. “His incredible amount of interests, experiences and accomplishments are reflected in the rich and vast collection at Harvard.”

Morris echoed the sentiment. “He was a polygon in the sense that he presents so many facets that no biographer circling around him can see all the facets at once. And indeed, many of the facets contradict one another.”

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