Novelist Christopher Tilghman on Family Tales at the Hermitage


Given writer Christopher Tilghman’s talents as a storyteller, it should come to no surprise that his books constantly find themselves on the New York Times bestseller list. What is surprising though is his literary reliance on his multigenerational family home on the banks of the Chester River for his inspiration for those award-winning historical novels.

The Hermitage is a manor house that has stood in the same place in Queen Anne’s County since being built in 1659. The product of the first of many Richard Tilghmans who made their mark on the Eastern Shore, the Royal Navy surgeon, arrived to the new world in 1650, and set into motion the construction of what was known as “Tilghman’s Hermitage.”

And for countless generations, the Tilghman family has painstakingly maintained this historic property, ensuring that the numerous houses on the site are kept up for future Tilghmans to use and to continue the stewardship of one of Maryland’s most historic properties.

The University of Virginia Creative Writing teacher still makes the summer trek to return to the family homestead, but these frequent visits not only refresh memories of when, as one of his brothers coined the phrase, “I grew up coming here,” but it has allowed him to channel century old family stories into a framework for three novels and numerous short stories.

The Spy sat down with Chris at the Robert Morris Inn in Oxford for a quick chat prior to his talk on his most recent novel, Thomas and Beal in the Midi, hosted by the Mystery loves Company bookstore.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. Christopher Tighlman’s books are available at Mystery Loves Company and the Bookplate in Chestertown and, of course, Amazon

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