Sumter County Museum kicks off 2023 “Meet the Author” series with 2 events


The Sumter County Museum is delighted to welcome two award-winning authors in the coming weeks. To open the museum’s “Meet the Author” series, New York Times bestselling author Marie Benedict will talk about her new novel, “The Mitford Affair,” Thursday, January 26 at 6:30 p.m. Benedict is a lawyer with more than 10 years of experience as an attorney at two of the leading law firms in the country who found her called to unearth the hidden historical stories of women. Her novels unearthed stories of such fascinating women as Albert Einstein’s first wife, brilliant inventor Hedy Lamarr, the amazing Clementine Churchill, Andrew Carnegie’s maid, British scientist Rosalind Franklin and others.

This book focuses on the six Mitford sisters who dominated the English scene between the two world wars. The family fell into disarray when one sister divorced her wealthy husband to marry a fascist leader, and another followed her sister’s example to Munich, inciting rumors that she had become Hitler’s mistress. The book follows her sister Nancy’s efforts to stop the Nazis from taking over Britain, a task that has forced her to choose between loyalty to her country and loyalty to her family.

“The Mitford Affair” has already been named to many must-read lists including Good Morning America’s Top 15 Books Coming January and Town and Country’s Best Books to Read in January. New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini calls it a “fascinating and engaging novel.”

The museum’s January 26 event will feature an author talk, Q&A, book signing, and hors d’oeuvres reception. Tickets are $30 for museum members and $35 for the general public. This includes a hardcover copy of his new book that can be signed at the event. Books-A-Million will be on site with additional copies for sale of his new book and previous titles.

The museum is also delighted to welcome award-winning author John Cribb for a talk and book signing luncheon on Monday 6 February at noon. Cribb will talk about his new historical fiction novel, “The Rail Splitter.” Bringing Abraham Lincoln to life like never before, the novel focuses on Lincoln’s extraordinary journey from a log cabin to the doorstep of the White House.

“Part coming-of-age story, part adventure story, part love story, and part rags-to-riches story, ‘The Rail Splitter’ is the making of Abraham Lincoln. The story of the skinny young man who goes from a “The log cabin at the White House is, in many ways, great American history. ‘The Rail Splitter’ reminds us that Lincoln’s beloved country is a place of open dreams where extraordinary journeys take place.”

The museum’s February 6 event will feature an author talk, Q&A session, and book signing along with a delicious lunch. Tickets are $10 for museum members and $15 for the general public. Books-A-Million will be on site with copies of his books available for purchase and signing.

Register for both events on the museum’s website at or call the museum at (803) 775-0908. Both events will take place in the museum’s McKenzie Hall at the Heritage Education Center in the main museum area at 122 N. Washington St., Sumter.

The Sumter County Museum explores historical experiences through programs and exhibits that enable all of us to inform and shape our future. Museum facilities include the Williams Brice House (1916), the Heritage Education Center, the Carolina Backcountry Homestead, and the new Temple Sinai Jewish History Center.

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