Audio Text: James A. Michener's Early Years in Doylestown

James A. Michener lived in eight different homes in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, as a boy. Although Michener's origins are a bit unclear, it is known that he was born in early February 1907, and was under the care of Mabel Michener. He had a difficult life as a child. He was poor and the family moved constantly because Mrs. Michener could not keep up her rent payments, but she was a strong willed and a generous person.

It was in Doylestown where Michener's love of the arts began, fostered by his mother and the atmosphere created in the home. Mrs. Michener read stories by Dickens, Homer and Mark Twain to Michener and his siblings on cold winter evenings. In Doylestown, he came in contact with teachers, coaches, and other community leaders who taught him that he could escape the poverty of his childhood through cultivation of his natural abilities.

Below the eight images of Doylestown homes, there is an autographed copy of "Return to Paradise", dedicated to Miss Lucie Price, one of the founders of the Melinda Cox Library, who was credited as the person who taught Michener to love books.