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An Aldrich Comment
in an 1889 note on Jewett from The Berwick Scholar

     -- Sarah Orne Jewett contributes "The Luck of the Bogans" to the January Scribner's, and "A Winter Courtship" to the February Atlantic. We cannot help noting here the delicate little criticism-compliment that Thomas Baily Aldrich gives Miss Jewett at the conclusion of his article in "Old Sticks" in the before mentioned number of Scribner's Magazine.** It is this: "The few old-fashioned men and women, quaint, shrewd and racy, of the soil--who linger in pleasant mouse-colored old homesteads strung along the New England roads and by-ways, will shortly cease to exist as a class except in the record of some such charming chroniclers as Sarah Jewett, on whose sympathetic page they have already taken to themselves a remote air, an atmosphere of long kept lavender and penny-royal."


Notes

This note appeared in The Berwick Scholar, Vol. II. No. 6. Berwick Academy, February, 1889.  Jewett was an alumna of the Academy and contributed an essay on education, "Unlearned Lessons," to this issue.

Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836-1907) was editor of Atlantic Monthly 1881-1890. The author of fiction and poetry, Aldrich and his wife were close friends of Jewett and Annie Fields. The essay to which this note refers is "Odd Sticks, and Certain Reflections Concerning Them," Scribner's Magazine 5:1 (January 1889) 124-128. There are minor errors in the quotation. The original reads: "The few old-fashioned men and women -- quaint, shrewd, and racy of the soil--who linger in pleasant mouse-colored old homesteads strung along the New England roads and by-ways, will shortly cease to exist as a class, except in the record of some such charming chronicler as Sarah Jewett, on whose sympathetic page they have already taken to themselves a remote air, an atmosphere of long-kept lavender and penny-royal" (128).

Edited and annotated by Terry Heller, Coe College.


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