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Guest Author Laura Gellott: Helen Perry Curtis and the European Trip of a Lifetime

Oct 23, 2021

02:30 PM - 03:30 PM

University of Iowa Main Library, Shambaugh Auditorium

125 West Washington Street, Iowa City, IA 52242

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A book cover with a red background and a woman's silhouette in black. She holds a suitcase and walks past the silhouette of the Eiffel Tower. The title of the book is on the cover.

The University of Iowa Libraries is proud to welcome author Laura Gellott to campus to discuss her recent book, Helen Perry Curtis and the European Trip of a Lifetime. Laura will be available following her talk for book signing during a light reception between 3:30 PM and 5:00 PM.

Can a book read in childhood be the inspiration for a lifetime of teaching and European travel? Helen Perry Curtis’s Jean & Company, Unlimited, the charming account of an American girl's first encounter with Europe, was precisely that for author and historian Laura Gellott. 

Six years ago, Gellott located Curtis’s three granddaughters. That meeting resulted in the publication of Helen Perry Curtis and the European Trip of a Lifetime. Gellott's book traces Curtis’s life from its Nebraska roots to New Jersey and New York and across the European continent in the 1930s. She tells the story of the real-life travels behind Jean & Company, Unlimited, a book designated as a Junior Literary Guild Selection in January, 1938. 

Laura Gellott is professor emeritus of history at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside (Kenosha), where she taught European history for 30 years. She is a frequent European traveler. She first read Jean & Company, Unlimited nearly 60 years ago. She has found it to be an ever-reliable guide. 

This UI Libraries event is part of the Iowa City Book Festival, which is presented by the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature.

Free admission. All are welcome.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact in advance at