Here’s an article from the Boston Globe regarding the Fall River Historical Society’s new book
Since some of the content has been shared with me, I’m already thinking of her differently.
What if these were the truest words she ever spoke? What if she were absolutely serious in that statement? What if she had resolved, deep within herself, that she would, indeed, bear it bravely? What if, for all the years she remained in Fall River, bore the brunt of the vicious annual re-visits of the crime in the Fall River Globe? What if, for the rest of her life, she endured the stares, the innuendos, the belief by her peers of a guilt that was not hers?
Consider the life she endured. Her only safe harbor was inside the walls of “Maplecroft”, protected by those that served her. Within that house she had all the comforts – the books she loved, her pets, her loyal friends, and servants who loved and looked after her.
But she was still a pariah in the eyes of the social elite – in the eyes of the Borden relatives. She was not accepted. She was not to be spoken of except in the huddled and hushed groups of men in their clubs, or women in their intimate, cloistered gossip gatherings. Consider that stressful existence. Imagine knowing you were innocent and enduring an entire second half of your life that way.
Were these the honest words of Lizzie Borden? Or where they the hollow words of a crafty woman wanting to project an entirely different image?
Her legacy has leaned to the latter for she has been mostly portrayed as a manical, axe-wielding demon based on an inaccurate quatrain. For generations the public acceptance of her unproven guilt has far outweighed the possibility of her innocence.
Consider again if those words quoted were truthful words. Consider that they were, in fact, prophetic because guilty or not, she did bear it bravely. She endured it. We must give her that.