An Evening With Eric Larson

April 30th, 2024 - 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

On Tuesday, April 30, at 6:00 p.m., please join us at the Cape Henlopen High School Theatre as bestselling author Erik Larson discusses his latest book, The Demon of Unrest: Unraveling the Saga of Hubris, Heartbreak, and Heroism at the Dawn of the Civil War (Crown Publishing, 2024). Larson will be in conversation with Bryan Russo, award-winning journalist and program director for Delmarva Public Media.

This special History Book Festival event is produced in cooperation with the Lewes Public Library.

Reservations are required. Take advantage of the opportunity to purchase tickets before this event is announced to the general public on Monday.

This History Book Festival event is presented with the generous support of Delaware Humanities and The Lee Ann Wilkinson Group, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices I PenFed Realty. Book sales are by Browseabout Books, official bookseller of the History Book Festival.

Bestselling author Erik Larson brings to life the pivotal five months between the election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency in 1860 and the shelling of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor in 1861. The country was bitterly at odds; Southern extremists were moving ever closer to destroying the Union, with one state after another seceding and Lincoln powerless to stop them. Larson offers a gripping account of a period marked by tragic errors and miscommunications, enflamed egos and craven ambitions, personal tragedies and betrayals.

Erik Larson is the author of six New York Times bestsellers, most recently The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz, which he discussed at the 2020 History Book Festival. In the Garden of Beasts, his account of an American family in pre-war Nazi Germany, is in development with Studio Canal and Playtone. Among the historical figures featured in the book is George Messersmith, American consul in Berlin, a Lewes resident who is buried at the Lewes Presbyterian Church.

Bryan Russo is an award-winning journalist, songwriter, and composer. He is the program director for Delmarva Public Media, a group of three FM radio stations that offer the coastal region a diverse menu of music, arts, culture, local news, and programming from National Public Radio.

A reservation is required to attend this event. Each reservation includes one general admission seat and a signed, hardback copy of The Demon of Unrest. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the History Book Festival and the Lewes Public Library, helping to provide free literary programming for people of all ages. Please note that reservations are limited.

Special thanks to our program partners for their support: the Lewes Public Library for event production and promotion; Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, official bookseller of the History Book Festival; Lewes Chamber of Commerce for event promotion; and the Cape Gazette and Delmarva Public Media, our media partners.

About the History Book Festival
An independent nonprofit organization, the History Book Festival produces an annual festival of new works about history, both historical fiction and narrative nonfiction. The festival also takes HBF authors into schools and other nonprofit community organizations and produces single author events, like this one, throughout the year. Save the date for this year's festival — September 27, 28, and 29, 2024. Learn more at

About the Lewes Public Library
The Lewes Public Library anticipates the needs of the community and adapts, creates and supports classes and programs for all ages that encourage a love of reading, exploration and discovery. It provides access for a wide variety of educational, informational and recreational materials to all members of the community through traditional resources and emerging technologies.

Support our work
The History Book Festival is a volunteer-led organization. Funds raised go directly toward the work we do, both at the festival as well as throughout the year. Please consider supporting us with a tax-deductible contribution.

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