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GOOD BOOKS FOR THE POOR
New York Times, 13 February 1891, p. 8.
HOW THE AGUILAR FREE LIBRARY SOCIETY PROPOSES TO RAISE FUNDS.
St. Valentine’s Night will be observed to-morrow at the Lenox Lyceum by the Directors of the Aguilar Free Library Society and their friends. At 8 o’clock there will be addresses by the Hon. Carl Schurs and Mr. Brander Matthews and at 8:30 the Valentine bazaar will be opened. A messenger service will be at the disposal of the guests for the prompt delivery of valentines. The money realized will go toward the equipment fund of the library.
The Aguilar Free Library Society, which is entirely non-sectarian, was organized four years ago for the purpose of circulating elevating reading matter among the poor and foreign-born population in the lower sections of this city. At present it controls three libraries, as 721 Lexington Avenue, at 206 East Broadway, and at 624 East Fifth Street, and circulates about 150,000 volumes per annum.
Its main support is the annual subscription of $5,000 it receives from the city, which does not allow anything for the purchase of books. The additional funds are subscribed to by the charitable friends of the society.
Two novel features of the bazaar will be “The Authors’ Valentine” and “The Authors’ Volumes.” The former consists of manuscript verses by the following authors, signed and written for the occasion, bound in a satin cover painted and designed by Dora Wheeler: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Walt Whitman, George William, Curtis Edward Eggleston, William Dean Howells, Margaret Deland, Elizabeth Phelps Ward, Edward Bellamy, Richard W. Gilder, Mary Mapes Dodge, Frank Dempster Sherman, Donald G. Mitchell, (Ik Marvel;) Samuel L [J.] Clemens, (Mark Twain;) Alice French, (Octave Thanet;) Julia Ward Howe, Agnes Repplier, Brander Matthews, John Burroughs, Helen Grey Cone, Mary E. Wilkins, Grace Denio Litchfield, Helen Campbell, Edmund Clarence Stedman, Sarah Orne Jewett, Hjalmar H. Boyesen, George W. Cable, and Mrs. Burton Harrison.
The Authors’ Volumes were collected by Mr. Oscar B. Straus, and each one has a manuscript letter from the author inserted. The books are as follows: “Put Yourself in His Place,” by Charles Reade; “Transatlantic Sketches,” by Henry James; “Woman’ s Reason,” by W.D. Howells; “The Luck of Roaring Camp,” by Bret Harte; “The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table,” by Oliver Wendell Holmes; “The White Elephant,” by Mark Twain; “The Colonel’s Daughter,” by Charles King; “Louisiana,” by Francis Hodgson Burnett; “Marjorie Daw,” by Thomas Bailey Aldrich; “Prue and I,” by George William Curtis; “Little Journey in the World,” by Charles Dudley Warner; “Songs of the Sierras,’ by Joaquin Miller; “Tent of Life in Siberia,” by George Kennan, and “Grandison Mather,” by Sidney Luska.
New York Times, 5 March 1893, p. 11.
BALTIMORE, March 4. – Society seems to be thoroughly enjoying the quieter and more simple gayeties of the Lenten season. Afternoon card parties are one of the features of these days, and from 3 to 5 are the hours chosen. This, it is said, gives the good girl a chance to attend evening service, also to frequent the Moody meetings.
Few strangers in this city were more entertained during their three days’ visit than were Mrs. Annie Fields and Miss Sarah Orne Jewett of Boston, who were recently the guests of Miss Garrett. On Saturday last a dinner of twelve covers was given in their honor by Mrs. Robert Garrett, while on Sunday several small afternoon teas were given to them, and it was much regretted that they could not prolong their stay.
On Tuesday afternoon the Literary Club gave a tea in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Enoch Pratt. Among the guests present were Miss Jewett, F. Marion Crawford, Mrs. Field[s], Archdeacon Moran, and Miss Garrett, besides the usual members of the club.
from BOOKS FOR ONE’S FRIENDS
New York Times, 18 December 1893, p. 5.
A FURTHER LIST OF WORKS ON CHRISTMAS COUNTERS.
Standard and Beautifully-Manufactured Books from Boston Houses – Art Works and Books Artistically Made That Are Seen In and Near Union Square – Bibles, Prayer Books, and Calendars – Records of Travel – Works of Biography.
Readers who read for a moment of diversion, as well as intense book lovers, were seldom more delicately complimented than this year, for the book publishers were perhaps never more painstaking in their efforts to be artistic. In evidence of this fact, notes were printed in these columns last Friday of visits in book shops in a journey from Franklin Square to Twenty-third Street. The additional evidence given in the following notes was obtained in a day within the limits of a small circle whereof Union Square is the centre. Here will be found with others notes concerning Boston houses, whose books are among the familiar ones in New-York shops.
Houghton, Mifflin & Co., whose works are always marked by elegance, publish Margaret Deland’s “The Old Garden, and Other Verses,” in frames, wreaths, and garlands of strangely seductive designs, in colors, by Walter Crane: “The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table,” with illustrations, by Howard Pyle, that are really artistic, and effectually accomplish the Titanic task of contributing a new charm to the ever-charming work of Oliver Wendell Holmes; Sarah Orne Jewett’s “Deephaven,” with illustrations, by Charles and Marcia Woodbury, whose love of their subject is delicately impressed in every touch of their exquisite pictures of personages and natural scenery.
The large-paper edition of the latter work, bound in a happy combination of white and sage-green boards, printed on hand-made paper, with its illustrations on Japan paper, is a triumph of bookmaking. Thus, also, is the special issue of “The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table.” Book lovers, for whom these special issues are made, will express only praise for them, and for “The Hanging of the Crane,” with nine other poems of the same nature, by Longfellow with illustrations by Garrett, Taylor, Merrill, Caliga, and Carleton, for the Handy-Volume edition of Longfellow’s complete poetical works, in five small volumes, printed in clear type, illustrated with five portraits of Longfellow; for the “Natural History of Intellect, and Other Papers,” the twelfth volume of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Complete Works; for the new Cambridge edition in one volume, of Longfellow’s; for “The Familiar Letters of Sir Walter Scott,” in two volumes, that are interesting in every line; for Blanche Willis Howard’s “No Heroes,” in prettily illustrated covers; for Collingwood’s “Life and Work of John Ruskin”; for John T. Morse’s “Life of Abraham Lincoln”; for “Greek Lines, and Other Architectural Essays,” by Henry Van Brunt, an intelligent estimate of the development of architecture, with special regard to American expressiveness; for “White Memories,” three poems on Bishop Brooks, Whittier, and Miss Larcom, written by Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney, illustrated with three portraits in photogravure, and daintily bound; for “Poems” of Thomas William Parsons; for “The Divine Comedy of Dante,” an admirable translation into English verse, with bibliographical sketch by Louise Imogen Guiney, and an introduction of Charles Elliot Norton; for the Works of Henry D. Thoreau, in ten volumes, with three portraits and the biographical sketch made by Ralph Waldo Emerson; for “Photography Indoors and Out,” a valuable manual, with illustrations for amateur photographers, by Alexander Black; for “Mr. Fish and the Alabama Claims,” a chapter in diplomatic history, by J. C. Bancroft Davis; for “The Bench and Bar of New-Hampshire,” by the late Hon. Charles H. Bell, Governor of New-Hampshire.
* * *
Got as Far as Bangor
From the Augusta (Me.) Journal, Dec. 10.
New York Times, 14 January, 1894, p. 4.Sarah Orne Jewett's charming story of the gentle old lady, an inmate of a Maine poorhouse, who managed to get to Philadelphia and see the wonders of the Centennial is recalled to mind by the adventures of Charles Snowman, a half-witted inmate of the Castine almshouse, who started last Summer to walk to the World's Fair. He got as far as Rockland, where he was arrested as a tramp and given thirty days' exercise in the city stoneyard. After serving his time there he managed to get to Bucksport, where he borrowed money to pay his fair to Bangor. Here he found quarters at the almshouse, where he remained until Monday, when he was discovered and sent back to Castine.
IMPRESSIONS OF TH. BENTZON
New York Times, 14 January, 1894, p. 21.
NOVELIST AND TRANSLATOR OF AMERICAN AUTHORS
Her Descriptions of Manners of French Society – The Popularity of Foreign Authors in Paris – Influence of the American Young Girl on the Young Girl of France – Relative Success of Various Novelists of the United States in Gallic Dress.
Two French authors, idealists in art of fiction; cosmopolitan, one by force of atavism and constant, the other by literary filiation from Stendhal and Taine and hesitating, Th. Bentzon and Paul Bourget, compared notes of their American impressions recently, and a symbolist poet who heard them wrote the following sketch on his book of agenda, the covers of which are in mouse-colored sealskin, with silver corners:
“Poets are as butterflies at night, attracted by the light. At the hour when the setting sun dresses the sky in pink and gilt, they saw small, lozenge-shaped panes that it inflamed in their leaden frames, and they went to the flame. They looked through the panes and saw the resplendent purple of fruits, the graceful forms of golden amphoras, the sparkling purity of silver vessels at a table set for a festival, and they were charmed by the spectacle. Above this room suddenly a window was opened and there appeared the head of a young girl, enchanting as Phoebe when she breathes the free air of the forest. The rays of gold that fell on her hair made for her face a celestial diadem. A smile fluttered on her lips, and they saw that she was a child worthy of the adoration of angels.”
“How would Mme. Bentzon explain this allegory?” asked somebody.
The poet replied: “Mme. Bentzon will tell you that she greatly admires America and that it is the land of the future.”
Theresa de Solms, Mme. Blanc, in literature “Th. Bentzon,” had Danish forefathers, an English governess, and, by the official situation of her stepfather, the Comte d’Aure, the opportunity precious to a writer, desirous of reflecting in books the manners of her time, of knowing intimately the people who gave to French society its tone in the time of the Second Empire. In these days Octave Feuillet was the Court novelist, Prosper Merimee signed himself “Fou de S. M. l’Imperatrice,” and Princess Mathilde, who wore as a brooch a bee chiseled in gold and enameled, found at Pompeii, assembled at frequent intervals in her magnificent drawing room young writers as Gautier, Goncourt , Banville, and others whose equivalents of to-day meet – alas! the times are different – in pessimistic rooms of cafes.
“Are the new writers sympathetic to you?”
Mme. Bentzon replied that she admired their talent. “But they are not always very clear to me,” she said. “I am vaguely impressed by the splendor of ‘L’Apres-Midi d’un Faune.' I cannot say that I quite understand it.
“Their work,” she continued, “has the suggestiveness of English poems, not the classic precision of the French. Then they are tormented by a sensual obsession.”
“They derive this from the realists, do they not?” was asked.
“Or from their mode of life,” she replied. “I do not mean that their mode of life is as they pretend. Their viciousness is pure fanfaronade. But they hold the commonplace and the conventional in such horror that they go to the other extreme of not being even slightly in touch with the society of their epoch.”
One might easily divine this objection of Mme. Bentzon, for her affable and superb profile, her limpid blue eyes, her mouth, the lines of which are firm and expressive of exquisite benevolence, and every shade that thoughts cast on her sensitive features are gracefully aristocratic. One cannot look at her and not be reminded of the idea expressed by Arthur Sherburne Hardy, that the French woman is thoroughly companionable with man. Her influence is elevating because one may talk with her. Twenty or twenty-five volumes that Mme. Bentzon has written may be chosen at random as evidence of the particular charm of that society. They have its fineness of conscientious observation, its delicacy in sentiment, its elegance in tone. “Un Remords,” “Tony,” and “Constance” were laureated by the French Academy. Albert Lynch has lent the charm of his delightful illustrations to the imperishable charm of “Jacqueline.” “Un Divorce,” “La Vocation de Louise,” “Une Vie Manquee,” “Le Violon de Job,” “Chatunent,” “La Grande Sauliere,” “L’Obstacle,” and “Tete Folle” have in their sincerity the fragrance of simple, pretty, exquisitely delicate flowers. “Genevieve Delmas,” written for young people, is an inexpressively touching example of tender, motherly solicitude.
“Is the society which you have described undergoing a change?” the interviewer asked.
“The young girl in France shall be transformed by the influence of the American young girl. The latter’s example has quite enchanted French society,” Mme. Bentzon replied. “The type of the young French girl perfectly described by Paul Bourget in ‘Terre Promise,’ will disappear. It will be well, because it is not right that marriage should be a contract made in ignorance of one of the interested parties. French novels reflected a sentiment of this wrong and various phases of its inevitable effects, but young girls in France may read only English novels.
“There are many things which I would not have understood as well as I do now if I had not come to America,” Mme. Bentzon continued, “and I realize that I should have come long ago. I am doing my utmost to regain the time that I have lost.”
“Are you favorably impressed?” was asked.
“Very,” she replied. “I do not admire everything, but I am fifty-three and I carry a weight of Old World prejudices. I am much interested in the work that American women have done. I saw in Boston organizations not for charity, but for humanity, that amazed me, and there is at Galesburg, in Illinois, a college where the two sexes receive education in common, that I highly esteem. I intend to travel in the West, in the South as far as New-Orleans, and to stay for two weeks on a farm in the interior of Arkansas.”
Mme. Bentzon has described in The Century her first meeting with George Sand, her impressions of the woman who, then, was a grave adviser and writing profoundly studious novels in controversy with Feuillet, her estimate of the writer whom fashion at present disclaims, and her interesting essay is grateful to George Sand for her encouraging letters, but Mme. Bentzon had inherited a cosmopolitanism which Mme. Sand could not have inspired. It is to this cosmopolitanism that French literature owes the excellent translations of American authors which Mme. Bentzon has written. In France, before her American work began to appear in the Revue des Deux Mondes, only Cooper and Poe, among the American authors, were known. Ernest de la Bedolliere had made the former popular in the large quarto illustrated editions which Barba published in parts at an insignificant price. Poe had been admirably translated by Baudelaire.
The popularity of foreign authors in France is merely relative; but Poe, who was ardently admired by all artists, and had impressed on a new generation of poets the willfulness of his aesthetics, had a smaller number of readers than Dickens, Heine, Turgenieff, Dostoiewski, or Tolstoi. In 1882 one could buy at the publisher’s the “Histoires Extraordinaires,” which bore the imprint of 1875, and none of the original editions of the “Nouvelles Histoires Extraordinaires,” the “Voyage d’Arthur Gordon Pym,” and the rest, were ever scarce. Mme. Bentzon’s work drew Poe into the popularity of American authors that she recommended.
She began with an essay on Walt Whitman, which attracted much more attention than she could expect. Whitman has much influence on the younger poets of France. Mme. Bentzon was not absolutely enthusiastic; there were many reservations in her praise, but her visit to America makes her say: “I will rewrite my essay on Walt Whitman.” She is surprised that Poe is not more popular than she finds him in her own country, and wonders if Daisy Miller harmed Henry James. She translated his works and those of Bret Harte, Howells, Bunner, Cable, Crawford, Aldrich, Eggleston, King, and Page. She made known by copious extracts and reviews the works of Emerson and Thoreau, those of Artemus Ward, Mark Twain, and Charles Godfrey Leland, those of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Sarah Orne Jewett, and Mary Wilkins, the criticisms and the poems of Edmund Clarence Stedman, the “French Traits,” of W. C. Brownell, which she characterizes as the best foreign work that has been written about France. She had an agreeable experience with “Marjorie Daw” she said:
“’Marjorie Daw’ came to me with a letter, signed Ralph Keeler, recommending it as a work of an author that I should regret to ignore. The writer said not a word of his profession or of his friendship for Aldrich. I learned these from Mr. Aldrich after I had translated the book. I greatly admire Ralph Keeler’s silence about himself.”
“Which ones of your translations of American authors were the most popular?” asked the interviewer, with an irresistible passion for measuring talent by measure of popularity.
“The works of Bret Harte, then ‘The Hoosier Schoolmaster,’ then the works of Cable,” Mme. Bentzon replied. “But there were successful reviews and essays, which I wrote before translating, in full, works that were a disappointment when they were published. In these cases I did not fail to explain that the fault was the translator’s. Cable’s ‘Bras-Coupe’ was a marvelous success with artists. The author owes this principally to Jose Maria de Heredia, the faultless poet of ‘Les Trophees.’ He read the story, was charmed by it, and, like La Fontaine after reading Baruc, spoke in praise of the work to every person he met.”
The conversation turned to plays and players. Mme. Bentzon expressed surprise that the private life of a player ever entered as an element in his lack of popularity. “One may praise his art,” she said, “and never think of his shortcomings as an individual.”
Of the Revue des Deux Mondes she admiringly spoke: “Its director, Ferdinant Brunetiere, is inflexible in his austerity,” she said, “but those whom he severely censures are intelligent enough to understand that his temperament implies his inflexibility. He is thoroughly praiseworthy and estimable. The disgrace of M. Buloz was great and lamentable, but he squandered only his own fortune; the funds of the Revue were intact. If you mention the work of the Revue on the literature of America, you cannot fail to note the admirable essays which Emile Montegut has written on Nathaniel Hawthorne and on ‘The Blithedale Romance.”
“Are you to write a book on America?” the interviewer asked.
“Yes,” Mme. Bentzon replied, unhesitatingly. “It will be a book of notes on things seen and felt, without comment and without a conclusion.
Americans may be persuaded in advance that it will be vivid, alert, thoughtful, sincere, and charming in style.
BOOTH MEMORIAL DEDICATED
New York Times. 9 May 1894, p. 4.
Services at the Grave Conducted by the
Rev. Dr. Edward Everett Hale.
BOSTON, May 8. – The dedication of the Booth Memorial at the grave of Edwin Booth at Mount Auburn took place to-day. The Rev. Dr. Edward Everett Hale made an exceedingly interesting address, in which he brought forward the beautiful simplicity and generous character of Mr. Booth. After these remarks he read Scripture passages from the poetic Psalms and Revelation.
The Lord’s Prayer was then repeated by all who were present. With an eloquent and feeling benediction by Dr. Hale, the services were closed.
There were present, besides Edwina Booth Grossman, daughter of the deceased actor, and her husband, Ignatius Grossman, Joseph Jefferson, successor of Mr. Booth as President of the Players; Mr. Brisbane, Treasurer of the Players; Mrs. Julia Ward Howe, Miss Jefferson, Mrs. Ole Bull, Sarah Orne Jewett, Mrs. Fields [Field], and two of the granddaughters of Joseph Jefferson, Mr. and Mrs. Elwell.
At the time that Mr. Booth was buried, during the services over the grave, a little bird came and sang a doleful lay. Precisely the same thing happened to-day, under the clear blue sky, surrounded by the beautiful tender green of the approaching Summer.
The stonework of the monument was designed by Stanford White of the firm of McKim, Mead & White, and is in the form of an Athenian monolith. On the face of this is a bay leaf in bronze by F. Edwin Elwell, which represents Mr. Booth at the prime of life, and is said by his daughter to be a most excellent portrait.
DISCUSSED BY WORKING GIRLS
New York Times. 10 May 1894, p. 9
TOPICS BEFORE THEIR ASSOCIATED CLUBS MEETING.
The Benefits of Clubs to Women Who Are Members of Them Viewed from Many and Varying
Standpoints – Lunchrooms for Working Women in Chicago Described – Reception to the
Delegates Tendered by prominent Women of Boston.
May 9. – Over 100 official delegates were present at the opening to-day of the second annual convention of the Working Girls’ Clubs. They represented New-York, BOSTON, Mass. , Philadelphia Brooklyn, , Cincinnati , Richmond , New-Haven, Hartford , Baltimore , Troy , Chicago , Woonsocket , Chicopee , R. I., and Central Falls Wilmington, Del.
The first paper, discussing “Clubs in Relation to the Community,” was read by Miss Edith Woolsey of New-Haven. The second, a composite paper, was read by Miss O. M. E. Rowe, Secretary of the Massachusetts Association, who had received papers from a number of clubs, in which various writers expressed appreciation for privileges afforded by the clubs for learning how to live, how to spend their leisure hours, and how to help others less fortunate than themselves.
“Is the Club the Best Form of Organization for Arousing Thought Among Girls?” was discussed by Mrs. Kate W. Noble of
A paper entitled, “What Our Clubs Do for Us,” written by Mrs. M. C. Munford of Waterbury, Conn. , Richmond , was read by Baroness Posse. Va.
“What Place Have Women of Leisure and Education in the Clubs? What Benefits Come to Them from Engaging in Club Work?” was the next general topic discussed in composite papers by members of the Shawmut Club, Boston, Thirty-eighth Street and second Street Societies, New-York, South Brooklyn Progressive Club, Cincinnati and Jamaica Plain Clubs, and the United Workers, Hartford. Miss Mary R. Sanford of the Friendship Club, Troy N. Y., spoke of “The Place of Women of Leisure.”
“Clubs as Stepping Stones to Christ,” a paper written by Miss Marion F. Young of the Friendly Workers’ Club,
, was read by Baroness Posse. Miss C. C. Meriam of Boston read a paper discussing “Moral Responsibility” of members of the clubs. Springfield
Miss Katherine Head of
in the afternoon described the lunch clubs for working women in her city. “Co-operative Housekeeping” was then discussed by Miss Martha D. Adams of Chicago , Mrs. Emma L. Beddington and Miss Mary E. Kenneyton. The speakers had all experimented in this plan of housekeeping, and their accounts were amusing and interesting. After a short recess, domestic service was considered, Mrs. C. H. Stone of St. Louis, Miss Ella A. De Long of Dorchester, Mrs. H. L. Henderson of New-York, and Mrs. Kate Gannett Wells, Mrs. Ellen H. Richards, and Miss Charlotte Drinkwater of Boston being the speakers. Boston
This evening in the
a reception was tendered the delegates by prominent Paine Memorial Building women. Among those who arranged this part of the programme, which was one of the pleasantest events of the convention, were Mrs. Louis Agassiz, Mrs. Roger Wolcott, Mrs. Lorin F. Deland, Mrs. James T. Fields, Mrs. Henry Lee Higgason, Mrs. Julia Ward Howe, Mrs. Nathan Matthews, Jr., Mrs. C. S. Sargent, Mrs. Charles W. Eliot, Mrs. Curtis Guild, Jr., Miss Sarah Orne Jewett, Mrs. Jacob C. Rogers, Mrs. Henry Whitman, and Mrs. C. D. Homans. Boston
To the Memory of TennysonNew York Times.
8 July, 1894, p. 4
Funds are being received for the erection of a lofty granite monolith in the form of an
Ionacross to the memory of Alfred Tennyson.
It has been decided to erect the memorial on the highest point of the famous down which overlooks the western end of the
Isle of Wight, and the spot chosen is the “edge of the noble down” which Tennyson loved so well and where he almost daily walked.
The permission of the Masters of Trinity House has been granted for the removal of the present wooden pile known to mariners as the Nodes beacon, and the erection in its place of the Tennyson beacon. As a land and sea mark visible from every point for many miles, the beacon cross should form a conspicuous and fitting memorial to the poet.
The amounts contributed by subscribers to the fund will not be published, but as a tribute to the great poet it is hoped to send to
the names of every man and woman “whose life has been touched ‘to the finer issues’ by the poetry of Tennyson.” England
Subscriptions may be sent to Miss Fay Davis, Secretary, care of Mrs. James T. Fields,
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Julia Ward Howe,
Elizabeth C. Agassiz, Thomas Bailey Aldrich,
Mabel Lowell Burnett, Martin Brimmer,
Annie Fields, Elizabeth N. Fairchild,
Alice M. Longfellow, Sarah Orne Jewett,
Charles Eliot Norton, Mary Lowell Putnam,
Robert C. Winthrop, Sarah W. Whitman,
Francis J. Child, Margaret Deland,
C. T. Copeland, Dana Eates,
Celia Thaxter, Louise I. Guiney,
William J. Rolfe, Henry O. Houghton,
Mary E. Dewy, George H. Mifflin,
M. De Wolfe Howe, Jr., Elizabeth Porter Gould,
Harriet Prescott Spofford, James Murray Kay.
FUNERAL OF MRS. CELIA THAXTER.
New York Times, 29 August 1894, p. 4.
Her Death, Following an Attack of
Gastralgia, Was Unexpected.
APPLEDORE, ISLE OF SHOALS, N.H., Aug. 28. – Funeral services over the body of Mrs. Celia Thaxter, the poet, were held in her residence to-day. The Rev. James De Normandie of Boston officiated. Mr. William Mason of New-York, an old friend of Mrs. Thaxter, played several appropriate selections on the piano. The pall bearers were Oscar Laighton, Cedric Laighton, J. Appledore Brown, Childe [Childs] Hassam, Dr. J. W. Warren, Dr. H. R. Stedman, Laurence Hutton, and Edward Caswell. The last named had been a faithful friend and servant of the Laightons for nearly fifty-five years.
Mrs. Thaxter was buried on the island by the side of her father and mother, the open grave being almost filled with flowers from her own garden, put there by those who followed her body from the cottage to the little family burial plot.
Among those present were Karl, Roland, and John Thaxter, her sons; Miss Rose Lamb, Miss Charlotte Dana, Miss Lucy Derby, Mrs. James T. Fields, Col. Charles E. Fuller, Howard Van Sinderin, Mrs. F. G. Loring, Miss Seward, a daughter of William H. Seward; Judge John Lowell and Mrs. Anna Eichberg King, Miss Alice Curtis, and the sisters of Miss Sarah Orne Jewett, who could not herself be present.
Mrs. Thaxter had a severe attack of gastralgia Friday night, but she was soon relieved of her suffering, and was on the fair road to recovery until a sudden heart weakness was developed about 11 o’clock Sunday night, and she died instantly, without pain or warning. She had been in the best of spirits, and seemingly in the best of health during the Summer, and she was particularly bright and cheerful Friday evening. Despite the fact that she seemed to be perfectly well, she had never entirely recovered from an attack of a similar nature, from which she suffered a few years ago.
From “Women and Children: Her Point of View”
New York Times, 6 January 1895, p. 18.
Says the Lewiston Journal: “South Berwick appreciates the generous act of Miss Sarah Orne Jewett, the authoress, in stepping in and paying the local band $100 to continue its customary Summer concerts, when municipal expenses were so heavy that the town couldn’t afford its usual appropriation.”
AN AMERICAN ACADEMY NAMED
New York Times, 29 July, 1895 p. 3.
The Twenty-five Writers, Artists, and Scientists
Young People Think
Should Compose It.
From The Boston Commonwealth
Every now and then some kindly editor or statesman undertakes the genial duty of pleasing forty people – more or less – by constructing a new list of persons who are to do for America the duty which the “Academy” of France does, whatever that may be. That deserving and spirited weekly, The Pathfinder, which is a National paper for young men and young women, is the latest adventurer in this line. The Pathfinder is not a children’s paper, it is not a story paper, it states both sides, it is not sensational, and it “boils down.” Such is the excellent statement of its well boiled-down programme.
Stimulated by what was known as the “Lew Wallace plan,” The Pathfinder prepared what it calls a straw vote, as to whether the American people wanted such an honorary institution established, and also asked for ballots as to who should be the first twenty-five persons to represent “the highest achievement in the American literature, art, and science of to-day.” Not unnaturally, if one may cite President Lincoln’s famous canon of criticism, the “fellows who liked that sort of thing” liked this plan, and, as the fellows who did not care a rap for it did not vote, very naturally, a large majority appeared in favor of the academy. So much, at last, was gained.
From schools and literary societies the votes “kept coming in” for the whole Winter, until the second week in May, when the editors closed the polls. On examination of the votes, it proved that political favorites had received a good many; but these were “rigorously” excluded by the editors, who thus exercised a prudent discretion in counting. And the result was the following list of the names which appear the highest number of times in all the ballots submitted. So far as the men of letters go – who seem to have led the artists in all cases except that of Mr. Spofford -- the list, with one or two odd exceptions, is creditable to the good sense of the readers of The Pathfinder, and must give courage to the writers for it. For nothing encourages a journalist more than to know that he is not writing for fools.
William Dean Howells, novelist
Thomas Bailey Aldrich, romancer
Thomas Nelson Page, story writer
Eugene Field, poet
Lew Wallace, romancer
James Whitcomb Riley, poet
Frank R. Stockton, humorist
Mark Twain, (Mr. Clemens,) humorist
Sarah Orne Jewett, novelist
S. Weir Mitchell, physician
Charles A. Dana, journalist
Henry Watterson, journalist
Edward Everett Hale, preacher
John H. Vincent, Bishop
William T. Harris, educator
John Fiske, historian
John Bach McMaster, historian
Dudley Buck, composer
Joan Philip Sousa, bandmaster
Joseph Jefferson, actor
Thomas Moran, painter
F. Hopkinson Smith, artist
Thomas A. Edison, inventor
Alexander Graham Bell, inventor
Ainsworth R. Spofford, librarian
Such lists, wherever they appear, are of no great consequence as indexes of the real worth of the people named. But they do measure the sense of the juries which give the votes, for instance, of the readers of a particular journal.
The Critic of New-York has three times tested its readers in the same way. The Critic has thus two academies of its own – one of thirty-eight men, one of nineteen women. But The Critic’s lists do not include artists. It is made up wholly of writers.
Seven names appear on both lists. Miss Jewett is ninth on The Pathfinder and sixth on The Critic’s list of twenty women. The Pathfinder’s readers, probably the young people of Washington, did not value Mrs. Stowe, Mrs. Burnett, Miss Murfee, Mrs. Howe, Mrs. Phelps-Ward enough to name them at all. They were all above Miss Jewett on the Critic’s list. Miss Whitney is on neither.
The six men on both lists are Mr. Howells, who heads both; Mr. Aldrich, second on both; Mr. Stockton, Mark Twain, Mr. Hale, and Mr. Fiske. But, in naming their seventeen authors, the young people left out Mr. Harte, Mr. Stedman, Mr. Cable, Mr. James, Mr. Warner, Mr. Stoddard, Mr. Julian Hawthorne, Mr. Burroughs, Mr. Higginson, Mr. Frothingham, and Dr. Fisher, who, are on The Critic’s list.
Some of these omissions are intelligible. The writers have not published short stories since the young men and women who vote began to read magazines. But what shall we say of Mr. Harte, Mr. Cable, and Henry James?
from The American Short Story
New York Times, October 19, 1895, p. 3
[ Review of The Life of Nancy, 1895 ]
Miss Jewett’s charm is perennial. In one of this new batch of stories she strays as far away from home as Virginia, and shows her power to portray life in the South soon after the war, with its profound melancholy, as surely and as gently as Miss Woolson used to in her best moods. But the dry humor and dumb pathos of New-England tales are veritable little masterworks. There are nine of them, already known to magazine readers, but all worth reading again.
“The Guests of Mrs. Timms” is the one we should pick out for a prize. It is almost as good as “The Passing of Sister Barsett.” Of course, its materials are the simplest, and almost every sentence seems to strike a sympathetic chord in the mind of a New-England-bred reader. It was natural enough that Mrs. Flagg and Miss Pickett should take Mrs. Timms’s invitation seriously and visit her the first pleasant day in the week after the conference meeting, and equally natural that Mrs. Timms should receive them coldly and not ask them to remove their bonnets; and the affair hardly seems important. Yet it is [the foundation matter is]* a highly finished sketch, the reading of which reveals, as it were, long vistas of pleasant comedy on every page.
*Note: This phrase appears at the point in the text, but appears to be extraneous.
From “The Social World”
New York Times, November 30, 1895, p. 8
It is understood that the marriage of Miss Catharine Burnett to Robert Jewett Mercur of Buffalo will take place early next year. Miss Burnett is a daughter of Gen. Henry Lawrence Burnett and his first wife. Since Gen. Burnett’s marriage with Miss Agnes Suffern Tailer, Miss Burnett has spent the greater portion of her time at her grandmother’s house at Canandaigua, N.Y. Mr. Mercur is a nephew of the late Judge Mercur of Philadelphia, and is related to Miss Sarah Orne Jewett. The wedding promises to be one of the most brilliant that Western New-York has known for a long time, and it is expected that the ceremony will be performed by Bishop Coxe, assisted by several other members of the Protestant Episcopal clergy.
MRS. STOWE’S FUNERAL
The Burial at Andover – Her Old Home in Mourning.
New York Times, July 4, 1896, p. 4.
ANDOVER, Mass., July 8. – Great simplicity marked the commitment to earth of the body of Harriet Beecher Stowe this afternoon, in accordance with the wishes of the famous authoress.
Her final resting place is behind the chapel of the Andover Theological Seminary, on Andover Hill – a narrow strip of ground, inclosing hardly more than 100 graves, but in which is the dust of men who have added luster to the fame of Andover’s institutions and left their impress upon the educational forces of the country.
From it a splendid view of the City of Lawrence is obtained. Further north the mountains of Southern New-Hampshire stand out a dark blue, irregular line on the horizon. The grave of the author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” is set in a beautiful landscape. In the northwest corner of the lot is a sunken slab of granite; a cross, a part of the same block, rests upon it. At the foot is the inscription:
Calvin Ellis Stowe, born April 26, 1802; died Aug. 22, 1887. The common people heard him gladly. – Mark xii., 37.
On the opposite corner of the lot, south, is a plain marble cross set in a granite base. The inscription reads:
Henry E. B. Stowe, who was drowned in the Connecticut River, while a member of Dartmouth College, July 19, 1857, aged nineteen.
Between her husband and her son, the body of Mrs. Stowe was laid to rest. The funeral train reached Andover at 1:35, having left Boston at 1 P.M. Accompanying the body were Mrs. Stowe’s son, the Rev. Charles Edward Stowe; Mrs. Stowe’s daughters, Eliza and Harriet; Mrs. Elizabeth Beecher Hooker and her husband, John Hooker; Dr. Edward B. Hooker, nephew of Mrs. Stowe, and Sarah Orne Jewett.
They were received by Frank H. Messer, who had charge of the funeral arrangements here; Prof. John W. Churchill, Dr. C. P. F. Bancroft, Prof. George F. Moore, and Dr. Selah Merrill, formerly United States Consul to Jerusalem, who acted as pall bearers, and Prof. Egbert C. Smyth, who conducted the simple exercises at the grave.
The Episcopal commitment form was used. There was no music. When Prof. Smyth pronounced the words “Dust to dust” handfuls of earth were dropped upon the box containing the body.
The old Stowe House, on Chapel Avenue, which the procession passed on its way to the cemetery, was draped over the portico with a large American flag, festooned with black. In this house Mrs. Stowe lived from 1833 to 1864, while her husband was a professor in the seminary.
During her residence here “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” was published, and here Mrs. Stowe received many American and foreigners noted in literature after her fame as an authoress had become assured. The house, with its stone front, remains practically the same as when Mrs. Stowe was its mistress. The roof and the upper part were destroyed by fire nine years ago, but in repairing the structure the architecture of the upper part was preserved, the only change being the addition of a few dormer windows.
FICTION BY FAMOUS HANDS
New York Times Book Review, June 5, 1897, p. 3.
THE COUNTRY OF THE POINTED FIRS, By Sarah Orne Jewett, Houghton, Mifflin & Co. Boston. $1.25
Miss Jewett’s story has for locality the coast of Maine, and the action takes place during a Summer there. Thoroughly at home with the ways and manners of the people, the author has constructed a romance conspicuous for the faithful detail of character. The love episode in the volume is daintily set forth.
Two Good Book Lists
New York Times, 19 February 1898.
Book Review p. 118
To the Editor of The New York Times:
Your correspondent’s sample list of short stories is so good that it is a pleasure to supply him, through your courtesy, with others. The fifty stories herewith sent are from a list of one hundred prepared for use in the Buffalo Public Library. The entire list will be reprinted in the next number of The Bulletin of Bibliography, published by the Boston Book Company, and will there contain not only the name of the book in which the individual story is included, but the original magazine sources of those which first saw the light in that way:
James Lane Allen’s “Flute and Violin.”
Wolcott Balestier’s “Captain, My Captain,” in “An Average Woman.”
H. C. Bunner’s “Love in Old Clothes.”
Rose Terry Cooke’s “The Deacon’s Week,” in “The Sphinx’s Children,” and “Freedom Wheeler’s Controversy with Providence,” in “Somebody’s Neighbors.”
A. T. Quiller Couch’s “The Roll Call of the Reef,” in “The Wandering Heath.”
Richard Harding Davis’s “Gallegher” and “The Reporter Who Made Himself King,” in “Cinderella and Other Stories.”
C. S. Davison’s “How I Sent My Aunt to Baltimore,” in Scribner’s “Stories of the Railway. ”
Chester Bailey Fernald’s “The Cat and the Cherub” and “The Cruel Thousand Years.”
John Fox’s “A Mountain Europa,” in “A Cumberland Vendetta.”
Robert Grant’s “The Matrimonial Tontine Benefit Association,” in “The Bachelor’s Christmas."
Edward Everett Hale’s “My Double and How He Undid Me,” in “If, Yes, and Perhaps.”
Saxe Holm’s “The One-Legged Dancers,” in her first series of stories.
Anthony Hope’s “The Indifference of the Miller of Hofbau” and “The Sin of the Bishop of Modenstein,” in “The Heart of the Princess Osra.”
Thomas A. Janvier’s “The Passing of Thomas” in Harper’s Monthly, Vol. 85, Page 430.
Sarah Orne Jewette’s “The Courting of Sister Wisby,” in “The King of Folly Island.”
Rudyard Kipling’s “The incarnation of Krishna Mulvaney,” in “Mine Own People” and “Soldier Stores.”
Andrew Lang’s “In the Wrong Paradise.”
Brander Matthews’s “Edged Tools,” in “With My Friends.”
E. P. Mitchell’s “The Tachypomp,” in Volume V. of “Stories by American Authors.”
Fitz James O’Brien’s “The Diamond Lens.”
Thomas Nelson Page’s “Meh Lady,” in “In Ole Virginia,” and “Run to Seed,” in “Elaket.”
Gilbert Parker’s “The Gift of the Simple King,” in “An Adventurer of the North, ” and “She of the Triple Chevron,” in “Pierre and His People,” and “The March of the White Guard,” in “Tavistock Tales.”
Julian Raph’s “Dutch Kitty’s White Slippers,” in “People We Pass.”
H. Robertson’s “How the Derby Was Won,” in Scribner’s “Stories of the South.”
Molly Elliot Seawell’s “The True Story of Commandant Lievre,” in Scribner’s Magazine, August, 1807.
W. H Shelton’s “The Wedding Journey of Mrs. Zaintree,” in “A Man Without a Memory.”
Annie Trumbull Slosson’s “Fishin’ Jimmy,” in “Seven Dreamers.”
Gertrude Smith’s “The Rousing of Mrs. Potter.”
John R. Spears’s “The Story of a Second Mate,” in “The Port of Missing Ships.”
Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Story of the Young Man with the Cream Tarts,” in “ The Suicide Club.”
F. J. Stinson’s “Mrs. Knollys.”
Frank R. Stockton’s “The Knife That Killed B. Hancy,” in “The Watchmaker’s Wife.” “The Remarkable Wreck of the Thomas Hyke,” and “A Tale of Negative Gravity,” in “A Chosen Few.”
Ruth McEnery Stuart’s “The Dividing Fence,” in “In Simpkinsville.”
Octave Thanet’s “The Missionary Sheriff.”
Mrs. E. A. Walker’s “The Winthrop-Drury, Affair,” in Scribner’s Monthly, Vol. 10, Page 753.
H. B. Marriott Watson’s “The Quandary of the Bishop,” in “Galloping Dick.”
A. Webster’s “Miss Eunice’s Glove,” in Vol. 6 of “Stories by American Authors.”
Stanley Weyman’s “Farming the Taxes,” in “From the Memoirs of a Minister of France.”
Mary E. Wilkins’s “The Revolt of Mother,” in “A New England Son.”
J. L. Williams’s “The Stolen Story,” in Scribner’s Magazine, August, 1807.
Owen Wister’s “The Second Missouri Compromise,” in “ Red Men and White.”
Margaret Yale Wynne’s “The Little Room.”
I take pleasure in inclosing, in view of your discussion of books for children, two lists which have also been prepared for use in the Buffalo Public Library. You are at liberty to reprint them if your interest in the subject warrants it, or the library will gladly give them to any of your correspondents who write for them.
Buffalo Public Library, Buffalo, N. Y., Feb.14, 1808.
[The editor is already familiar with the Buffalo Public Library’s list of books for children, and “Esteemed Contributor,” whose article, “Books That Separate Parents from Their Children,” began this discussion in THE TIMES’S SATURDAY REVIEW, found it useful in preparing the list given in the writer’s second article. Readers interested in this subject will do well to avail themselves of the kind offer contained in Mrs. Elmendorf’s letter. Besides this list, the Buffalo Public Library issues another that gives one hundred good short stories – Ed.]
Writers of Country Tales.
New York Times, 9 July 1898.
Book Review p. 463
To the Editor of the New York Times:
I have several of the Mr. Rowland E. Robinson’s works, “Sam Lovel’s Camps,” “Uncle Lisha’s Outing,” &c., and would like to know the name of one or more authors who write in the same vein.
New York, June 11, 1898.
[Sarah Orne Jewett, Mary Eleanor Wilkins, Alice Morse Earle, and (at times) Edward Eggleston write in a similar vein.- Ed.]
Stories of New England Life.
New York Times, 30 July 1898
Book Review p. 506
To the Editor of the New York Times:
Will you kindly send me a list of twenty or twenty-five books on New England life, character, and customs, or ask one of your subscribers to give one in THE TIME’S SATURDAY REVIEW?
GEORGE WEEKS STANFORD
Plainfield, N.J., July 20, 1898.
[The editor respectfully refers this request to readers of THE TIME’S SATURDAY REVIEW, with a special recommendation that the request be granted. In the meantime, our correspondent may occupy himself with the stories of Mary E. Wilkins, Margaret Deland, Sarah Orne Jewett, Rose Terry Cooke, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, and Rowland E. Robinson. – Ed.]
New York Times, 6 August 1898
Book Review p. 1.
To the Editor of The New York Times:
The following list of twenty-five books is made in answer to the letter in THE TIMES’S SATURDAY REVIEW of July 30. The late Mr. Charles A. Dana said that the best New England stories were those written by Miss Mary E. Wilkins:
1. "The House of the Seven Gables," Hawthorne.
2. "The Scarlet Letter," Hawthorne.
3. "Twice Told Tales," Hawthorne.
4. "A New England Nun and Other Stories," Mary E. Wilkins.
5. "An Humble Romance and Other Stories," Mary E. Wilkins.
6. "Pembroke," Mary E. Wilkins.
7. "Jane Field," Mary E. Wilkins.
8. "Jerome," Mary E. Wilkins.
9. "Madelon," Mary E. Wilkins.
10. "Seven Dreamers," Annie Trumbull Slosson.
11. "Fishin’ Jimmy," Annie Trumbull Slosson.
12. "The Heresy of Mehitabel Clark," Annie Trumbull Slosson.
13. "A Farm House Cobweb," Emory J. Haynes.
14. "Quabbin," Francis H. Underwood.
15. "Pratt Portraits," Anna Fuller.
16. "Among the Northern Hills," William C. Prime.
17. "From a New England Hillside," William Potts.
18. "Tales of New England," Sarah Orne Jewett.
19. "Deephaven," Sarah Orne Jewett.
20. "The Broughton House," Bliss Perry.
21. "Steadfast," Rose Terry Cook.
22. "A New England Girlhood," Lucy Larcom.
23. "Gathered Sketches," Francis Chase.
24. "The Country School," Clifton Johnson.
25. "Green Mountain Boys," Judge Thompson.
CHARLES W. KENT.
Merrick, L. I., Aug 1, 1808.
Kate Sanborn, One of Them, Makes a Defense.
Written for THE NEW YORK TIMES SATURDAY REVIEW
27 January, 1900, p. 4.
Found! A “real” woman humorous writer. I take pleasure in referring to Miss Marietta Holley of North Adams, N.Y., as a “real woman” and a “professedly” humorous writer. She is well known as the creator of Samantha Allen, Betsy Bobbett, &c. Her half dozen books are “permeated” with fun and humor quite equal to Mark Twain or Bill Nye and others.
“Women among humorists” are like mice among cats – severely and summarily dealt with. The writer in last week’s TIMES SATURDAY REVIEW seems ignorant – or is he indulging in would-be irony? “Sporadic flashes,” he says he does find, but all “women humorous writers” (I should say humorous women writers) soon lapse, he complains, into gravity or sentimentality. Does he mean sentiment, or is ality the feminine termination? Is Thackeray to be deprived of his reputation as a humorist because he was also a moralist, a cynic, a man who gave us sad, tender verses full of sentiment? Dickens then we must drop from the ranks of humorists, because he was an earnest reformer, every novel of his having in view the combating of a great public wrong. Is the “Tale of Two Cities” a side-splitting farce? Does the death of Little Nell fairly convulse you with merriment?
And Tom Hood! He was a sad invalid who had to be a lively Hood to make a livelihood. It was with him a case of “broad grins under narrow circumstances.” He was professedly a humorist for daily bread. He wrote amusing articles in bed when near death. He wrote the very last one to pay the undertaker. Grim business! I open the first volume and am greeted by the haggard face and skeleton form of the wretched seamstress about whom he sang that immortal, heart-breaking “Song of the Shirt,” which is not permeated with fun!
But why do I talk of death.
That phantom of grisly bone!
I hardly fear his terrible shape,
It seems so like my own-
It seems so like my own.
Because of the fast I keep.
Oh, God! that bread would be so dear,
And flesh and blood so cheap!
“The Bridge of Sighs” is not exactly a rollicking skit! “The Lady’s Dream” could not be called fun! One volume is devoted entirely to Hood’s serious poems, at his earnest request. He was a great author; his essays are equal to those of “Elia” (Charles Lamb.) Humor and pathos are twins; one alone is a tedious thing. Beecher said that if he wanted to make his audience cry, he first made them laugh. If a man is eternally funny in public or print, he becomes mighty near being a colossal bore! Persons tire of such constant waggishness. Do you want all maple syrup and candies and butter and whipped froth? Not for a steady diet. Kipling’s “Recessional” does not bar him from being a wit.
I supposed these facts were universally known. Is a humorous woman to be pronounced in a Helen Kellerish condition because she shows power in other directions? Your critic gives a list of “male humorists” and challenges an equal list among women. Most of Rabelais’s wit is too obscene to quote; there is a popular kind of humor that verges on vulgarity. Striking out this maleish factor, also profanity, double-entendres, and heavy, hoary stories, long since in their anec-dotage, (just slightly galvanized by wine,) I offer the following list of “Real Humorist Writers”:
Lady H. Ashburton. Lucretia P. Hale.
Susan B. Anthony. Susan Hale.
Sophie Arnould. Sarah Orne Jewett.
Jane Austen. Mrs. Kemble.
Louisa M. Alcott. Caroline M. Kirkland.
Charlotte F. Bates. Caroline B. LeRow.
“Sherwood Bonner.” Eliza Leslie.
“Aunt Fanny” Barrows. Sallie P. McLean.
Isabel F. Bellows. Mary R. Mitford.
Lady Blessington. Mme. Mohl.
Mary D. Brine. Lady Montagu.
Frederika Bremer. Lady Morgan.
Aphra Belm. Lucretta Mott.
Fanny Burney. Martha Morton.
Phoebe Cary. Marguerite Merington.
E. B. Corbett. Louise C. Moulton.
Lydia M. Child. Miss Murfree.
Lady Clark. Hannah More.
Mrs. Cleaveland. “Ouida.”
Mrs. Carlyle. Carlotta Perry.
Mary Ciemmer. Josephine Pollard.
Rose Terry Cooke. Frances Lee Pratt.
Frances P. Cobbe. Alice W. Rollins.
Lizze W. Champney. Ellen H. Rollins.
Susanna Centlivre. Lucia G. Runkle.
Helen Gray Cone. Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Lucretia Davidson. Julia Schayer.
Mme. du Deffand. Catherine Sedgwick.
Abby M. Diaz. Jane Taylor.
Mary Kyle Dallas. “Octave Thanet.”
Mary Mapes Dodge. Margaret Vandergrift.
M. Eytinge. Metta V. Victor.
George Eliot. Mrs. Whicher.
Fanny Fern. Constance F. Woolson.
Anna Fuller. Arabella Wilson.
Margaret Fuller. Mrs. Phelps-Ward.
Kate Field. Mary Wilkins.
Grace Greenwood. Kate Douglas Wiggin.
Mme. de Geulis.
I do not hope to convince or even to interest male humorists by this list. The physiologists must take up that inability to see wit in the other sex. Talk about the deaf, blind, and stupid! I will close with a quotation from two excellent judges:
“Women have more humor than wit.” –John Boyle O’Reilly.
“Women have more wit than humor.” – Dr. Holmes.
You notice (if not deaf, blind, and dull!) that both qualities in women are hereby acknowledged.
Books for Children
New York Times Book Review
15 June, 1901, p. 27
To The New York Times Saturday Review:
Is there really such a lack of children’s books? Or is it true that the children’s libraries of to-day need wide shelves to hold the best that has been written for them in the past, and the many good juvenile books that are appearing all the time? For instance, our “littlest” folks have for their amusement not only “The Arkansaw Bear,” which was written especially for them, but the immortal “Peterkins” and “Jimmy-Johns” of a century ago. Surely the authors of such classics as “Alice in Wonderland” and “Tom Brown’s School Days” wrote for the children of many generations. Is it necessary that any one should fill Miss Alcott’s place so long as there is a demand for more duplicate copies of her books than a public library usually possesses?
Those writers who gladdened the hearts of the children a few years ago – Mrs. Lillie, Sophie Swett, Nora Perry, Mrs. Whitney, “Margaret Sydney,” Mary Mapes Dodge, Stoddard, Trowbridge, Alden, James Otis, and Frank Stockton – are all favorites, while Howard Pyle, William Drysdale, Ruth Hall, and Mollie Elliot Seawell are a few of those more lately added to the list.
Old and young share the pleasure of reading such books as “The Court of Boyville,” “Uncle Remus,” “The Jungle Book,” Aldrich’s “Story of a Bad Boy,” and some charming talks by Kate Douglas Wiggin, Sarah Orne Jewett, Mary Catherwood, and Thomas Nelson Page. By the way, the fact that young people seldom care for collections of short stories may explain why Wiss Wilkins’s name did not appear as a favorite author in the Springfield school mentioned in THE SATURDAY REVIEW a few weeks ago.
These are but a few of the many names that come to mind, and still there are the dear old story-tellers, Dickens, Thackeray, Scott, and Cooper, with bests of other interesting writers who are not story-tellers; but a goodly number of books that were not written for children especially may be safely added to the young people’s list. “C. R.” and others who question about suitable books for girls would do well to ready Esther Tiffany’s delightful story, “A Mate for Melinda,” in Harper’s Monthly for May.
It is Ruskin, is it not, who advises turning a girl into a library to browse for herself? Probably Ruskin did not mean a modern public library; but here Mr. Dewey and Mr. Foster help us out by suggesting a wide field for browsing, among books that are all “worth while.”
JENNIE G. WALKER.
Washington, D.C., June 8, 1901
A Storied Room in Boston
New York Times Book Review
5 April 1902, p. 7
A Storied Room in Boston
The New York Times Saturday Review of Books:
“American Authors and Their Homes” to one of its readers has revived on old acquaintances and introduce new ones. A companion volume would be acceptable, giving the homes of our women authors. An unexceptionable list of such is in [en] evidence, their habitat not confined to the Atlantic seaboard.
But if the compilers should undertake the pleasant theme, they might find it desirable to hark back to Boston, from which the coterie of Gotham’s luminaries withdrew her light and relegated her to the rear.
Perhaps few libraries of our American authors hold a more interesting collection of literary treasures than that of Annie Fields, in her home at 148 Charles Street, the home where, with her distinguished husband, Mrs. Fields gave those famous “breakfasts” that her guests, such as Thackeray, Dickens, and scores of kindred spirits from the other side, might meet their peers of this side, our Hawthorne, Holmes, Emerson, Longfellow, with a flow of soul and feast of reason such as the immortals only know. That upper room where writers and artists have slept (and smoked, it may be, for a pipe and pen seem to go hand-in-hand) is entered even now with cautious tread and veneration. The prestige of that home has never faded. The room in which the precious threasures are enshrined looks out upon the windings of the river, all in unison.
Mr. Fields bought the most of Leigh Hunt’s books, among which is the copy of Keat’s poems which Shelley held in his hand in his waistcoat pocket when his body was found upon the sea-washed beach at Lerici.
Annie Fields is classic according to the strictist sense of the word. She loves classic poetry and writes of classic themes. As a representative of American women authors and their homes no others would dispute her right. Miss Sarah Orne Jewett has lived with her for many years and is her traveling companion in her many journeys abroad. F. F. S.
Hillview, San Fransisco, March 18, 1902
Their Libraries in Need of Complete Overhauling – Practical Suggestions.
The New York Times Saturday Review of Books: 31 May 1902, p. 7.
You can render great service to many of your readers by publishing from time to time a list of books suited for a modern Sunday school library. I find that a very level-headed committee makes bad blunders in spite of great care – its members are so busy.
Perhaps this is too much to ask, but I am convinced that you could, if you would, help many a committee in its perplexity. So many books are bought as we buy turnips and are worth as much, about 2 cents per pound. JOHN HUTCHISON.
Arlington, N.J., March 23, 1902.
It is evident from this appeal that the Sunday school library is awakening to present-day conditions, for its status has changed greatly since public libraries have so largely increased. In towns where a free library exists many Sunday schools are finding that there is little demand for books except for the younger children, the older people, and the “shut-ins.” It is known that in some places the Sunday schools are giving their books to the public library, where they will be not only more accessible, but better cared for and more systematically handled, and where a larger collection is available both for lesson helps and general reading. Although this passing of the library is remarked in some Sunday schools, its particular work and influence, which cannot be fully supplied by the public library, still remain, while in a community that boasts no public library it serves as the chief source for books.
A Sunday school library, or better, a church library, even though small, if carefully chosen and well administered, may elevate and stimulate the whole life of the church and Sunday school. The first consideration is an improvement in the administration of such libraries – their conduct on a business basis, according to modern library methods that have been especially adapted for small libraries. It is careless management, as well as an inferior collection of books, that has too frequently hindered their usefulness and success. A book that will be of great assistance both to the librarian and the Library Committee is “The Librarian of the Sunday School,” by Elizabeth L. Foote of the New York Public Library, together with some supplementary articles on “The Successful Sunday School Library,” by the same writer, recently published in The Sunday School Times. “Hints to Small Libraries,” by Mary Wright Plummer of Pratt Institute Library, Brooklyn, will also be most suggestive and helpful.
As the textbook of the church and Sunday school is the Bible, the library should contain a growing collection of books expository of the Bible and of Bible lands and times, some for the use of teachers, others to be passed from teachers to scholars, serving not only as the foundation but as the inspiration for effective Bible study. Among such books the first should be “The Modern Reader’s Bible,” edited by R. G. Moulton, published by Macmillan, the set being purchased as a whole or by volumes as needed. Two series of books known as “Bypaths of Bible Knowledge” and “Men of the Bible” (Revell Company,) from which titles could be selected as the lessons demanded, are excellent for teachers’ use, as they bring the light of modern scholarship to Bible problems. Archbishop Trench or Dr. Taylor on the miracles and parables of Christ, depending on whether the expository or hortatory style is preferred; Dr. Stalker’s excellent handbooks for Bible classes – “The Life of Christ” and “The Life of St. Paul,” “The Life and Epistles of St. Paul,” by Conybeare and Howson, are all authorities, while various books of comment, exposition, and interpretation by Farrar, Geikle, Lyman Abbott, Moulton, and others belong in such a collection.
Each church should add some of its denominational books to keep its people in touch with its history and progress. Books on missions should be included, and those telling of the lives and deeds of Christian heroes of ancient and modern times must not be forgotten. It would seem that after these books were purchased there would be little left for the general library. But it is all a matter of adjustment and growth; if funds are limited only a few books need be purchased at a time, but these would at once constitute a useful working library, helpful and reliable in all the church activities.
To present a list of books for the general library of a Sunday school that shall be both inclusive and exclusive is not an easy problem. The tone and style of the average Sunday school book are proverbial, but the day of such books is past. Books with strong, live, human interest are wanted, books selected for their literary excellence as well as for their clean, wholesome moral standard. Present day sermons, ethics and essays, travel, biography, and literature, studies of modern social problems, nature books, and good wholesome fiction in moderation should all be represented in a Sunday school library.
Books for the children must above all be carefully selected. Public libraries are doing so much for the appraisal of children’s books that their lists can be safely consulted and used by Sunday school committees. The Buffalo Public Library issued in February a most carefully selected list of books for class-room libraries for public schools, from the first to the ninth grade, from which Miss Alcott’s “Little Women and Little Men,” can be chosen, with Miss Dodge’s “Donald and Dorothy,” and “Land of Pinck,” Mrs. Smith’s Young Puritan Series, Miss Yonge’s “Book of Golden Deeds,” Scott’s “Ivanhoe,” the animal stories of Seton-Thompson and W. J. Long, various bird books, Kipling’s “Jungle Book,” Bayard Taylor’s “Boys of Other Countries,” Aldrich’s “Story of a Bad Boy,” Hale’s “Man Without a Country” and “New England Boyhood,” and the “Pilgrim’s Progress,” together with the best biographies, travel, and nature books for the eager young folks.
For the very little people, the best picture books are named, and carefully selected fables and fairy stories. Jane Andrews’s books, Pierson’s “Among the Meadow People,” and others of the series; Ruskin’s “King of the Golden River,” Schwatka’s “Children of the Cold,” Mrs. Peary’s “Snow Baby,” Olive Thorne Miller’s “Little People of Asia,” Miss Brown’s “Lonesomest Doll,” and James Baldwin’s stories are merely suggestion of the good books that can be chosen. Indeed from this list, with its wide variety and careful grading, a selection can safely be made for the individual needs of any Sunday school. The juvenile lists of the Newark, N. J., Brookline, Mass., and Cleveland Public Libraries will also be found most helpful.
For the older members of the school, the life and letters of Phillips Brooks, Smith’s “Life of Henry Drummond,” Booker T. Washington’s “Up from Slavery,” Jacob Riis’s “Making of an American,” Brady’s “Recollections of a Missionary in the Great West,” Mabie’s “Life of the Spirit,” Van Dyke’s “Little Rivers,” President Roosevelt’s “Strenuous Life and American Ideals,” Brook’s “First Across the Continent,” various books treating on China, Japan, and the Philippines in the light of present history are an index only of the kind of books that will keep all interested in the library.
The question of adult fiction is so vast as hardly to be mentioned in the space of this article. The best of modern fiction, tested by a year, or better by the three years that Mr. Carnegie advocates, can find a place in the Sunday school library, side by side with many of the older stories that will always endure. From the works of Mrs. Wiggin, Miss Wilkins, Anna Fuller, Sarah Orne Jewett, Mrs. Slosson, Amelia Barr, and Jane G. Austin selection can be made, for in buying books it should be kept in mind that it is never necessary and seldom wise to buy all of an author’s works. “The Sky Pilot,” “Black Rock,” “Old Chester Tales,” “Spinster’s Leaflets,” “Hugh Wynne,” and “Ben Hur” are a brief mention of stories that will long be enjoyed.
In connection with the juvenile lists already mentioned, which can be purchased at cost from the libraries issuing them, a Sunday school committee can with great profit consult catalogues and lists that have been prepared especially for Sunday school libraries by those who know not only books, but the needs of a Sunday school. The catalogue of the library of the Emmanuel Baptist Church, Albany, (15 cents,) is an excellent example of a well-selected and well-arranged library.” The Church Library Association of Cambridge, Mass., reads many books, and issues catalogues of the books that are approved for Sunday school libraries. The American Unitarian Association, through its Ladies’ Commission, publishes an annual list of good books for Sunday school libraries.
Sarah Orne Jewett’s Illness
New York Times, 8 March, 1909, p. 14.
BOSTON, Mass., March 7. – Some improvement was shown to-day in the condition of Sarah Orne Jewett, the author, who is critically ill at her home in this city. Dr. James M. Jackson, her physician, stated, however, that the condition of Miss Jewett was still precarious, and her recovery doubtful.
SARAH ORNE JEWETT,
NOTED WRITER, DEAD
New York Times, 15 June 1909, p. 9.
Admired for Her Stories of New England Rural Life
– Praised by Lowell.
DEATH FOLLOWED PARALYSIS
Sixty Years Old, Most of Her Life Had
Been Spent Between Her Native
Maine and Boston
SOUTH BERWICK, Me., June 24. – An illness lasting many months ended to-night in the death of Miss Sarah Orne Jewett, Litt. D., author of many books and regarded as one of the foremost women writers of America. Since last March Miss Jewett had been at her old home here, where for many years she had been accustomed to pass her Summers, and it was in the old home that her death occurred at 6:40 this evening.
It was while living in Boston early in the present year, at the residence of her friend, Mrs. James T. Fields, widow of a famous Boston publisher, and herself an author of various books, that Miss Jewett had an attack of apoplexy which caused paralysis on one side of her body, and, although her mind remained clear, she became nearly helpless physically.
It is believed that another attack of the brain hemorrhage from which she first suffered was the immediate cause of death.
The house where Miss Jewett was born, on Sept. 3, 1849, has been in the possession of the Jewett family since 1740.* Miss Jewett was the daughter of Dr. Theodore H. and Caroline F. (Perry) Jewett.
Miss Jewett was best known to the literary world through her stories of New England country life. These were published both in book form and in the magazines.
Her father was a country physician.
Delicate health in childhood compelled Miss Jewett to spend most of her time in the open air. She therefore accompanied her father every day on his rounds among his patients. During these trips she stored up material which later found its way into print. Afterward, gaining somewhat in strength, Miss Jewett attended the academy in her native village.
Her career as an author began when she was quite young. While she was at the Berwick Academy, she was only seventeen then, several short stories under her name appeared in “Our Young Folks,” and the Riverside Magazine.* She ventured to send a story to the Atlantic Monthly when she was nineteen years of age, and since then hardly a year has passed without a volume from her.
Although nearly all of her life was spent between the house in which she was born in Maine and at the home of Mrs. James T. Fields, these places were not the only ones with which Miss Jewett was acquainted. She traveled throughout this country and made several trips abroad.
Among Miss Jewett’s principal writings were “Deephaven,” in 1877; “Old Friends and New,” published in 1880; “Country Byways,” which was published in the following year; “A Country Doctor,” in 1884; a series of stories of the nations, which was published in 1887; “Tales of New England,” in 1888, and “The Country of the Pointed Firs,” published in 1897. Other stories were “A Marsh Island,” “The Story of the Normans,” her last book being “The Tory Lover,” published in 1901. Miss Jewett was a contributor besides, to many magazines. In 1901 she received the degree of Doctor of Letters from Bowdoin College.
The Jewett House
Stories vary from the observable facts about when the Jewett family came into possession of what is now known as the Jewett House in South Berwick.
Though this is difficult to determine with exactness, it appears that the ownership of the land on which the house and its outbuildings stood became unclear when heirs of John Haggens died intestate between 1822 and 1827. The estates were settled by 1830, and it seems that Nancy Haggens became the main owner of the Jewett house and lands.
Paula Blanchard states that Theodore F. Jewett (Sarah’s grandfather) moved into the Jewett house with his second wife, Olive Walker, soon after their marriage in 1821. Though Blanchard states that T. F. Jewett bought the house at that time, in fact the purchase was not completed until 1839, and SPNEA research suggests that Theodore Furber Jewett rented the property from John Haggens's estate at first. The house did not change hands legally (by deed) until 1839. On May 27, 1839, Thomas Jewett (Sarah’s uncle) purchased from Nancy Haggens and the estate of John Haggens several parcels of property (York Deeds 164:267). On the same day, Thomas sold the "mansion house" and lot to his brother, Theodore (York Deeds 164:269).
Jewett’s literary beginnings
Jewett’s first two published works appeared in The Flag of the Union and Our Young Folks, when she was 18. Her third publication, “Mr. Bruce,” a short story, appeared in Atlantic Monthly when she was 19.
Jewett’s works -- corrections
Old Friends and New - 1879
Country By-Ways - 1881
Tales of New England - 1890
The Country of the Pointed Firs - 1896
There was no “series of stories of the nations,” but in 1887, Jewett published The Story of the Normans, a volume in a series of “stories of the nations” school texts.
from “Boston Gossip of Latest Books”
New York Times, 3 July 1909.
Book Review, p. 421.
The lamented death of Miss Sarah Orne Jewett takes away from earth a soul as sweet, a heart as gentle as ever guided a pen. She drew her own portrait in her gentlewomen, young and old, and should her biography be written she can best be described in her own phrases. So far as human vision could discern, she attained her own idea in grace, courtesy, and charity. When the Atlantic was giving those dinners to which ladies were admitted, it was amusing to hear men, after being sufficiently voluble in praise of others, hesitate when they came to her name, and to see how many of them were satisfied with crying, “ But Miss Jewett!” with an ecstatic expression. No woman dissented. She charmed all. Her epitaph should be “How good! how kind! and she is gone!” She had not been quite well since the accident of which there was a rumor some years ago, but illness and pain were borne with dignified sweetness which left no unlovely memory in any mind, and will never be forgotten by those to whom glimpses of it were granted.
Terry Heller, Coe College
Collected and transcribed by Kelly Sanders, Coe College.
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