In 2014, Framingham author Elizabeth Fideler was looking for a new book project when she came across an idea she hadn’t previously considered: profiling an individual who was highly accomplished, yet not famous.
“I knew Margaret Pearmain Welch to be a very interesting woman, but after my research, I understood how truly remarkable she was,” said Fideler, a research associate at the Center on Aging & Work at Boston College. “Her story deserved to be told.”
In “Margaret Pearmain Welch (1893-1984): Proper Bostonian, Activist, Pacifist, Reformer, Preservationist,” published last month by Wipf and Stock Publishers, Fideler describes the bygone era in which Welch was a debutante, world traveler, socialite, and dancer who founded and hosted Waltz Evenings in her Louisburg Square drawing room.
As Fideler notes, however, Welch also “defied the mores of her social set and got away with it.” While she provoked gossip and newspaper mentions for her divorce and remarriage to a prominent Bostonian who was also divorced, Welch became a resolute writer, lecturer, lobbyist, fund-raiser, and activist for women’s suffrage, reproductive rights, environmental protection, land conservation, worship without clergy, monetary reform, and world peace.