News Release

For Immediate Release


Marc Kuhn

10410 NW 10th Street
Plantation, FL 33322

Phone:  954-325-7177



Mysterious Fate of Marble Slab Gifted to America by

Pope Pius IX is Basis for New Historical Novel

Stone to be placed inside Washington Monument was

Stolen, Destroyed and Tossed into the Potomac River

Plantation, Florida, October 12, 2012:  The story of an obscure but once famous piece of marble has been revived in a new novel titled, THE POPE’S STONE, by author Marc Kuhn. The Pope’s Stone was an opulent slab of engraved marble gifted to America in 1854 by Pope Pius IX.  The stone, along with many others donated from a number of States and organizations, was to be embedded within the walls of the Washington Monument, then under construction in the nation’s capital.  Most of these stones are there today, lining the interior walls of the Monument’s stairwell.  But, before it could be installed, the Pope’s Stone was stolen, destroyed and thrown into the Potomac River by a group of anti-Catholic activists known as the “Know-Nothings.”  Within this true historic context Kuhn embeds the fictional Barrington family of Virginia…and the rest is history!

The story follows the lives of Nathaniel and Nicholas, two young descendants of the Barringtons.  Each young man keeps life-long journals which eventually reveal their parallel lives that are mirrored by uncanny similarities in events and experiences; relationships and consequences.  The two men, however, lived one hundred years apart.  The only connections between them are their family heritage, their journals…and a small fragment of the Pope’s Stone that was secretly stolen by family patriarch, John Henry Barrington.

A diverse mix of historic places and events are intertwined throughout the story.  Among them are the Battle of Fredericksburg during the Civil War; The great Oklahoma Land Rush; a rescue operation near the Marine outpost at Khe Sanh, Vietnam; and the Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion.  Nathaniel and Nicholas Barrington witness such events as they live out their lives in real times and actual places, the combination of which often present unexpected consequences.  

Through it all, the small, secret, remaining piece of the Pope’s Stone is passed down through the Barrington family, generation after generation.  In its path is hardship and unexpected tragedy for those who possess it.  Coincidence?  Bad karma, as Cousin Sarah calls it?  Or is it more than that?  And, what role does the stone play as readers follow the lives of Nathaniel and Nicholas Barrington?  These are some of the questions readers will be asking…they will discover the answers in THE POPE’S STONE.

Author Marc Kuhn has worked in radio broadcasting most of his life as a journalist, a program director and a marketing executive.  He has held positions at major radio stations in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Miami.  Now retired, he has turned his attention to writing books.  His first book, NEVER GOOSE A MOOSE! is a collection of whimsical verse for young children.  ABOUT A FARM, a second children’s book, features life’s lessons beyond the barnyard.  THE POPE’S STONE is Kuhn’s first adult novel.

“I have always enjoyed learning about American history,” Kuhn says.  “Creating a story and then embedding it within actual historic events and locations has been the most fun I’ve ever had writing.”  Kuhn paid very close attention to details and talked to both historians and eyewitnesses to ensure those events and places in the book that are real are accurately presented.  


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