Synopses & Reviews
Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909) was an American novelist and short story writer, best known for her local colour works set in or near South Berwick, Maine, on the border of New Hampshire, which in her day was a declining New England seaport. She was educated at Miss Olive Rayne's school and then at Berwick Academy, graduating in 1865. She supplemented her education through an extensive family library. She published her first important story in the Atlantic Monthly at age 19, and her reputation grew throughout the 1870s and '80s. Her literary importance arises from her careful, if subdued, vignettes of country life that reflect a contemporary interest in local colour rather than plot. Jewett's most characteristic works include the novella The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896), A Country Doctor (1884), a novel about a New England girl who rejects marriage to become a doctor; and A White Heron (1886), a collection of short stories. Some of Jewett's poetry was collected in Verses (1916), and she also wrote three children's books.