Jewett Works & Search
Index to these Letters
ANNIE FIELDS, LETTERS OF SARAH ORNE JEWETT
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Notes for the Preface
Spenser: Edmund Spenser (1552-1599).
Lowell: James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) was an American poet and literary critic, well remembered for his humorous poetry, such as "The Biglow Papers" (1848).
Portsmouth: a seaport in New Hampshire.
King of the Fatherland: The fatherland is Great Britain.
"The first of all her dead that were to be": This quotation has not been identified. Help is welcome.
the famous journal of Dean Swift to Stella: Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), the Irish satirist is best known for Gulliver's Travels (1726). Stella was his close friend, Esther Johnson, to whom he addressed Journal to Stella (1710-13).
noble saying of Plato: Plato (about 428-347 BC) was a Greek philosopher, author of numerous dialogues featuring Socrates, his teacher. The quotation comes from Book V of "Laws," in which Socrates does not appear: "for there is no greater good in a state than that the citizens should be known to one another." (Research: Jack V. Wales, Jr. of the Thacher School, Ojai, CA.)
Mrs. Stowe ... 'The Pearl of Orr's Island': Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) is best known for Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852); she published The Pearl of Orr's Island in 1862.
T. B. Aldrich: Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1836-1907) was editor of Atlantic Monthly 1881-1890. Author of fiction and poetry, Aldrich and his wife were close friends of Jewett and Fields.
'Atlantic': Aldrich refers to the magazine; see the previous note.
Rudyard Kipling: Joseph Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) was an English fiction writer and poet, and an admirer of Jewett's work. He is well-known for his children's books, such as The Jungle Book (1894) and Just So Stories (1902), and for his novel of India, Kim (1901). (Research assistance: Gisbert Haefs)
Notes for the letters
Note for letter 4
Longfellow's death: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) was an American poet, perhaps best known for his long narrative poems such as The Song of Hiawatha (1855). He was probably the best-known and most respected American poet of the nineteenth century.
Jewett's tribute to Longfellow was reprinted as "Sara[h] Orne Jewett's Tribute," The Bookman 34 (November 1911), p. 221. The quotation of the tribute had this introduction:We recall few nobler tributes than that written by the late Sara[h] Orne Jewett when she heard the news of Longfellow's death. It was contained in a letter to Mrs. James T. Fields which is printed in the Letters of Sara[h] Orne Jewett, a book that has just been published by the Houghton Mifflin Company.
Note for letter 6
Hannah and Annie and John and Hillborn and Lizzie Pray: The Pray family were Jewett servants. See Silverthorne, Sarah Orne Jewett: A Writer's Life, p. 102.
Notes for letter 6A
Morwenstow: This town in Cornwall, England, was the home of the poet Robert Stephen Hawker (1803-1875), who was its vicar.
"Lorna Doone" and "The Vicar": R. D. Blackmore (1825-1900) published his novel Lorna Doone in 1869. Oliver Goldsmith's (c. 1730-1774) novel, The Vicar of Wakefield, appeared in 1764.
Carlyle's Reminiscences -- the Jane Welsh Carlyle: A selection of Jane Welsh Carlyle's letters was published in 1883 by James Anthony Froude (1818-1894), disciple of Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881). Jane Carlyle (1801-66) was Thomas's wife. Froude also published Carlyle's Reminiscences in 1881. These and Froude's other biographical works on Carlyle caused controversy because they revealed marital conflict and sexual problems.
"great stone face": A major tourist attraction in the White Mountains in northern New Hampshire and western Maine is Franconia Notch, where one can see the formation of the "Great Stone Face" of the Old Man of the Mountains.
Notes for letter 7
Thierry: Augustin Thierry (1795-1856) was the author of History of the Conquest of England by the Normans; its Causes, and its Consequences, in England, Scotland, Ireland, & on the Continent (Trans. 1869) which appeared in several editions in English translation during Jewett's lifetime. Jewett may have read in the 1851 translation: The Historical Works of M. Augustin Thierry; Containing the Conquest of England, by the Normans; and Narrative of the Meringovian Era or Scenes of the Sixth Century; translated from the last Paris ed. Presumably, she was researching her book, The Story of the Normans.
Salisbury Plain: The Salisbury Plain of England is about 80 miles west of London, famous for its cathedral town of Salisbury and for Stonehenge.
"Saturday Review" and "Spectator": The Saturday Review (founded 1855) was a major British literary periodical in Jewett's lifetime. Almost certainly, Jewett refers to the British radical weekly Spectator (founded 1828).
Clarissa Harlowe: Samuel Richardson (1689-1761), English novelist, author of Pamela (1740), published in 1747-48 Clarissa; or The History of a Young Lady, a very popular, long epistolary novel.
Zola: Émile Zola (1840-1902), the French novelist and leader of a school of naturalistic fiction.
Note for letter 8
the gray man: Jewett's story, "The Gray Man" first appeared in A White Heron (1886).
Notes for letter 9
last volume of Dickens' Letters: Charles Dickens (1812-1870), British author of such novels as David Copperfield (1850). Jewett could have been reading The Letters of Charles Dickens (1879, 1881) in three volumes from Scribner's.
McClure story: The date of this letter is problematic, and there is also a mystery about this McClure story. Jewett's mother died in 1891. The first Jewett piece known to appear in McClure's Magazine is "Human Documents," in June 1893, the year in which S. S. McClure (1857-1949) founded his magazine. Jewett's novel, A Marsh Island appeared in Atlantic Monthly in January - June, 1885. McClure may have had contact with Jewett between 1884 and 1890, through his associations with Century Magazine - which first published a Jewett story, "In Dark New England Days," in 1890 - and with his own news syndicate. Probably this letter is presented out of chronological order, and we cannot be sure what McClure story Jewett refers to.
Parson Hawker book: Probably a book by or about the Cornish vicar and poet, Robert Stephen Hawker (1803-1875). Hawker was the subject of Baring-Gould's The Vicar of Morwenstow (1875).
Sandpiper: Celia Thaxter (1835-1894), popular poet, author of An Island Garden (1894), close friend of Jewett and Fields.
Her nickname may be connected with the following Thaxter poem, often anthologized, which appears in Stories and Poems for Children (1895) and other Thaxter collections, as well as in McGuffy's Fourth Eclectic Reader: Revised Edition (1879, 1920). A sandpiper is a bird of the snipe family, found along the seacoast. Jewett wrote the preface to Thaxter's Stories and Poems for Children. That text, which precedes the poem below, reflects something of Jewett and Thaxter's relationship.
Preface to Stories and Poems for Children
I am sure that if Mrs. Thaxter had lived to complete the arrangement of this book of stories and verses for children, she would have dedicated it to her dear grandchildren and to the little nieces so near to her heart. I know that she would like to have me stand in her place and say that this book is made for them first of all, and I am sure that it will help those who cannot well remember her to know something of her beautiful generous kindness and delightful gayety, her gift of teaching young eyes to see the flowers and birds; to know her island of Appledore and its sea and sky. S.O.J.
"The Sandpiper" from Stories and Poems for Children by Celia Thaxter
Across the narrow beach we flit,
One little sandpiper and I;
And fast I gather, bit by bit,
The scattered driftwood bleached and dry.
The wild waves reach their hands for it,
The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,
As up and down the beach we flit, --
One little sandpiper and I.
Above our heads the sullen clouds
Scud black and swift, across the sky;
Like silent ghosts in misty shrouds
Stand out the white light-houses high.
Almost as far as eye can reach
I see the close-reefed vessels fly,
As fast we flit across the beach,--
One little sandpiper and I.
I watch him as he skims along
Uttering his sweet and mournful cry;
He starts not at my fitful song,
Nor flash of fluttering drapery.
He has no thought of any wrong;
He scans me with a fearless eye.
Stanch friends are we, well tried and strong,
The little sandpiper and I.
Comrade, where wilt thou be to-night
When the loosed storm breaks furiously?
My driftwood fire will burn so bright!
To what warm shelter canst thou fly?
I do not fear for thee, though wroth
The tempest rushes through the sky:
For are we not God's children both,
Thou, little sandpiper, and I?
married a ghost: Celia Thaxter was intensely interested in Spiritualism in 1882-83, under the influence of the medium, Rose Darrah. Paula Blanchard (Sarah Orne Jewett) reports that Jewett and Fields also showed some interest, but were more skeptical, as Jewett seems in this letter. See Blanchard, pp. 181-82.
Marigold: Mary Lodge (Mrs. James)
Swedenborg: Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), Swedish philosopher, scientist and mystic. He developed an elaborate theosophic system, and his followers formed the New Church on his beliefs after his death. One of Jewett's mentors, Theophilus Parsons (1797-1882), was a Christian Swedenborgian.
Professor Parsons: Probably, Thomas William Parsons (1819-1892), the translator of Dante, but possibly Theophilus Parsons (1797-1882), one of Jewett's mentors.
Whittier: John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892), the Quaker poet of Amesbury, Massachusetts, best known for his narrative poem, Snow-bound (1866).
Notes for letter 10
Mr. Arnold's "Nineteenth Century" paper: Jewett quotes from Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), "The Nadir of Liberalism," Nineteenth Century 19:111 (May 1886), 645-663, when she admires his observation that Gladstone lacks foresight because he lacks insight. Therefore, it is virtually certain that Fields has incorrectly dated this letter. Almost certainly it was written after 1 June 1886.
In "The Nadir of Liberalism," Arnold critiques the Irish home rule proposal of William E. Gladstone (1809-1898), who was Liberal prime minister of England four times during a long and illustrious political career. Arnold wrote his essay in the context of Gladstone's third, short term as prime minister in 1886, when he came to power by uniting the Liberal and the Irish members of parliament around a proposal for Irish home rule. In the essay, Arnold argues that the proposal for home rule was deeply flawed for several reasons. A better long-term solution to the antagonism between Ireland and England would be to develop and follow policies that would create friendship between the two peoples, and that such policies must recognize the festering injustices resulting from past English failures to curb the abuses of absentee landlords and to allow the Irish to have their own established church.
Jewett's reading of this essay may have been colored by her current work on The Story of the Normans (1887), so that she saw contemporary England and Ireland as replaying the 11th-century antagonism between Normans and Saxons. Her assertions that the Irish are backward, childish, and incapable of self-rule, do not in fact square with Arnold's opinions in the essay, and particularly with his views in an earlier two-part essay, "The Incompatibles" which appeared in The Nineteenth Century in April and June of 1881 and was collected in Irish Essays and Others in 1882. In that earlier essay, Arnold argues that in many cases, as decades and centuries pass after a military conquest, like the Norman conquest of 1066, affairs settle down, the injustices of conquest are forgotten, and the conquered and conquerors come to live together amicably. This, however, is not what has happened in Ireland, because the English have for centuries renewed the original pain of conquest, keeping the wounds fresh. Jewett seems to misunderstand Arnold's argument at this time. Perhaps by the time she began her series of Irish stories with "The Luck of the Bogans" (1889), her thinking about the Irish as a people had changed.
Mr. Blaine ... "What business has England?": The Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia says, "The most popular Republican of his time, James Gillespie Blaine (1830-1893), of Maine, served as U.S. congressman, senator, secretary of state, and presidential candidate. He was an important architect of his party's electoral success during the 1880s and '90s." On June 1, 1886, Blaine gave a speech in Portland, Me. in which he advocated passage of Gladstone's Irish home-rule bill then being debated in the English parliament. In that speech, Blaine does not ask literally "What business has England" to rule Ireland, but that question summarizes well one of his main points. The text of his speech, as printed in a New Zealand newspaper appears here.
Note for letter 11
white-weed daisy: any weed with a white or whitish flower, specifically the daisy, according to a contemporary dictionary.
Notes for letter 12
book of Edwin Arnold's: Sir Edwin Arnold (1832-1904) published India Revisited in 1886.
Mayflower: The Mayflower is best known as the ship in which the Pilgrims traveled to form their colony at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620.
Notes for letter 13
"Poor dear!": This fisherman is a model for Captain Tilley in "Along Shore" in The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896).
the Banks: The Grand Banks, according to Britannica Online, "a portion of the North American continental shelf in the Atlantic Ocean, lying southeast and south of Newfoundland, Canada. Noted as an international fishing ground, the banks extend for 350 miles (560 km) north to south and for 420 miles (675 km) east to west."
St. Augustine: The Spanish first permanent settlement in North America was St. Augustine, Florida. Jewett and Fields visited the city fairly often, and Jewett's story, "Jim's Little Woman" in The Life of Nancy (1895), is set there.
the "Alchemist"... Balzac: Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850), The Alchemist, or, the House of Claes (English translation, 1861).
Notes for letter 14
General Grant's death: Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), Union Commander in the United States Civil War and later President. Grant was an alcoholic. He died on July 23, 1885.
Tennyson: Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892), the English poet.
Notes for letter 15
David Schuster points out the inconsistency between the publication date of Mitchell's Hugh Wynne (1896) and the apparent date of this letter. Fields's 1886 date presumably derives from Jewett reporting trying to finish The Normans, which appeared in 1886, and her recommendation of the Preston paper from June 1886. Yet Jewett could not have read Hugh Wynne until a decade later. Furthermore, the quotation from Tennyson at the end of the letter comes from letters of Edward Fizgerald published in 1895 (see below). In a December 1890 letter to Louisa Dresel, Jewett reports preparing a revision of of The Normans for British publication (And see letter 30 below). This would account for Jewett reporting that is returning to material she has forgotten. On the other hand, Jewett reports working on The Normans in 1883 (see letter 7 above). It seems likely that Fields has spliced two letters together here. An examination of the original letter or letters would seem necessary.
Miss Preston's paper about Pliny the younger in the "Atlantic": Harriet Waters Preston (1836-1911), a writer and translator, was one of those from whom Jewett sought advice early in her career. See Blanchard, pp. 108-9. Pliny, the Younger (62-113) was a Roman official who published several volumes of official and private letters that provide rich pictures of aspects of Roman life. Preston's article was "A Roman Gentleman under the Empire," Atlantic 57 (June 1886) 741-761.
Pliny's "Natural History": Pliny the Elder (c. 23-79) was a Roman encyclopedist. His "Natural History" consisted of 37 books, ten published in his lifetime, on all aspects of contemporary science.
Pendennis ... Vanity Fair: William Makepeace Thackeray, an English fiction writer, published Vanity Fair in 1847-8 and Pendennis in 1848-50.
Tolstoi's "Anna Karenina": The Russian Novelist, Count Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) published his novel, Anna Karenina 1875-1877.
Jules Verne: French author Jules Verne (1828-1905) is considered one of the inventors of science fiction. Many of his novels have been adapted to film, including Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870, Eng. trans. 1873) and Around the World in Eighty Days (1873, Eng. trans. 1873).
"Hugh Wynne": Hugh Wynne, Free Quaker (1896) is a novel by Silas Weir Mitchell, M.D. (1829-1914), perhaps best remembered for his "rest cure" for hysteria.
The quotation from Tennyson appears in Letters of Edward FitzGerald to Fanny Kemble (1871-1883), by Edward FitzGerald (1895), p. 138.
Notes for letter 16
Miss Elizabeth C. is dead at ninety--two: A member of the old aristocracy who could recall a visit of the Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834) -- general of the French forces that aided in the American Revolution -- to her mother in South Berwick, Elizabeth Cushing was one of the local women for whom Jewett felt great affection. Lafayette made his "grand progress," a hero's tour of the United States, in 1824. See Elizabeth Silverthorne's Sarah Orne Jewett, pp. 31-33. See two accounts of the 1825 visit by General Lafayette to Madam Cushing in South Berwick and the Charles Cushing Hobbs Talk.
"Where every prospect pleases,": This phrase is from the "Missionary Hymn" (1819) by Reginald Heber (1783-1826). Perhaps his best known hymn is "Holy! Holy! Holy!" (1827).
Rousseau's "Confessions": Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), French philosopher and social critic published his autobiographical Confessions in 1781-1788.
Mrs. Bell: Probably Helen Olcott Choate Bell (1830-1918), daughter of Rufus Choate, and a neighbor of Annie Fields. Judith Roman in Annie Adams Fields identifies Mrs. Helen Bell as a member of The Pandora Club in 1877, where on at least one occasion, she sang her own music (97). Though I have not been able to verify this satisfactorily, she may be the author of Man's Catastrophe and Other Poems, (1869). While Blanchard in Sarah Orne Jewett identifies Mrs. Bell as a neighbor in Boston and Manchester (215), it appears Helen Bell the poet lived in Philadelphia. Accurate information would be appreciated.
Daniel's poems: Samuel Daniel (c.1562-1619) was an English poet and dramatist
Note for letter 17
Burne-Jones' photographs: Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-1898), was a British Pre-Raphaelite painter.
Notes for letter 18
Miss Barrell: One of the Barrell sisters, spinster friends of the Jewett family. See Paula Blanchard, Sarah Orne Jewett, especially p. 223.
Nothing was really alive but her eyes, like Heine's: In an article, "The Poet Heine," on the German poet Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) in Century 29 (December 1884) 210-217, Emma Lazarus describes the long death of Heine from a "horrible disease of the spine, which chained him to his bed and gradually reduced his frame to the proportions of a child. His intellect remained active to the end...." A note at the end of the article offers a description Heine's appearance from "the German poet Weinbarg," giving considerable attention to his eyes: "Between his close-drawn eyelids, his well-cut eyes, which were rather small than large, were usually shadowed by a dreamy expression, the most distinctive feature of the poet. When he was animated, they were lighted by a merry, clever smile, with a spice of lurking mischief, but without any sting of malice."
Note for letter 19
Miss Grant: Olive Grant was the South Berwick dress-maker, endeared to the Jewetts for her valuable gossip. See Blanchard, pp. 38-9.
Notes for letter 20
Mr. Arnold's essay on George Sand: Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) published "George Sand" in The Fortnightly Review in June of 1877; it was reprinted in Mixed Essays in 1879. George Sand (Amandine-Aurore Lucille Dupin, Baronne Dudevant, 1804-1876) was a productive French novelist, remembered also for her love affairs with the painter Alfred de Musset and the pianist-composer, Frederic Chopin.
That story of Tolstoi's: Leo Tolstoy's (1828-1910) Katia appeared in English translation in 1887.
"Lady Terry": Jewett probably meant to write (or Fields to transcribe), "Lady Ferry," which had been published in Old Friends and New (1879).
Mr. Freeman ... Maurice: Jewett corresponded with Edward Augustus Freeman, author of History of the Norman Conquest, during her work on The Story of the Normans. A letter to Jewett from Freeman of November 20, 1887 speculates about the identity of "Maurice." [Link to page containing Freeman's letter] The topic of this mystery remains a mystery. See Silverthorne, p. 133.
Notes for letter 21
Eldress Harriet: Jewett maintained a friendship with the Shaker community at Alfred, Maine. See especially Blanchard, pp. 302-3. Founded in England in the eighteenth century, "the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, also known as the Millennial Church, or the Alethians, came to be called Shakers because of the trembling induced in them by their religious fervor." Under the leadership of Mother Ann Lee the sometimes persecuted Shakers set up communal villages in the United States, beginning in 1776. (Source: Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia).
"hold on fast by God," as the old version of the Psalms has it: I have not located these words in the Book of Psalms, but it is not perfectly clear that Jewett refers to this. The sentiment is expressed in similar words in I Thessalonians 5:21, "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." Assistance is welcome.
Mrs. Stowe: Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Note for letter 22
hepaticas: Hepatica americana. Early blooming flowers, commonly blue, but also purple, pinkish or white, with leathery leaves and hairy stalks.
Notes for letter 23
Sunday evening, 1889: Internal evidence shown in the following notes indicates that this letter and the next are misdated, that they probably should be 1887 rather than 1889.
Scribner Letters: William Makepeace Thackeray's (1811-1863) novel Pendennis appeared 1848-1850. Jewett may have been reading A Collection of Letters of Thackeray, 1847 - 1855 published by Scribner in 1888, though this complicates the problem of dating this letter.
Mr. Burlingame: Edward Livermore Burlingame (1848-1922) was editor of Scribner's (1887-1914). Almost certainly the date of this letter is incorrect. Jewett's "Law Lane" appeared in Scribner's in December 1887 and was reprinted in The King of Folly Island in 1888.
Notes for letter 23A
"A Player Queen": "A Player Queen" was published in America 1 (July 28, 1888) 6-8. It was missed in later bibliographic studies and rediscovered by Philip B. Eppard, who reprinted it with his short essay, "Two Lost Stories by Sarah Orne Jewett," in Gwen Nagel, ed., Critical Essays on Sarah Orne Jewett (1984).
Miss Preston's article ... about the Russian novels: Harriet Waters Preston's "The Spell of the Russian Writers" appeared in The Atlantic in August 1887, pp. 199-213. This would seem to confirm that this and the previous letter are misdated.
Notes for letter 24
Manchester: Manchester, Massachusetts was summer home to many Boston intellectuals and literati, including Annie Fields.
the life of Fox ... Warren Hastings ... Burke and Sheridan: Warren Hastings (1732-1818) was the first British governor-general of India (1774-85). Edmund Burke (1729-1797) brought charges of impeachment against him when he returned to England in 1785. Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816) was a British playwright. It is likely Jewett refers to a life of Charles James Fox (1749-1806), leader of England's Whig Party in the latter half of the 18th century. Perhaps the book was Henry O. Wakeman (1852-1899), Life of Charles James Fox (1890) or Sir George O. Trevelyan (1838-1928), The Early History of Charles James Fox (1880).
Dorothy Wordsworth's Tour in Scotland: Sister of William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth (1771-1855) finished Recollections of a Tour made in Scotland 1803 in 1805. It was published in the United States by Putnam in 1874. in an edition by John C. Sharp (1819-1885).
Notes for letter 25
to go to writing: Jewett recounts a similar incident in "The Confession of a House-Breaker," in The Mate of the Daylight. A version of this sketch also appeared anonymously in The Atlantic (September 1883: 419-22).
Stubby: Jewett's nephew, Theodore Eastman.
hellebore: dried and powdered extract from false hellebores (Veratrum) is used as an insecticide.
"Berwick Scholar" ... Centennial arrangements: The Berwick Academy centennial took place in 1891, the academy having been founded in 1791. See Jewett's "The Old Town of Berwick." Jewett contributed several pieces for The Berwick Scholar, the school magazine founded in 1887. She helped with the Centennial arrangements of her alma mater, contributing to the Scholar an article, "The Centennial Celebration" in v. 4 (March 1891).
Beaver Dam: Beaver Dam is a section of the town of Berwick, about half way between Berwick and North Berwick on State Route 9. There is private Beaver Dam Campground there now, and also a summer theater, the Hackmatack Playhouse, and at one time there was a Beaver Dam Grange in this section. Research: Art Stansfield of Lexington, Ky.
Note for letter 26
The Pearl of Orr's Island: Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) is best known for Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852); she published The Pearl of Orr's Island in 1862.
Notes for letter 27
4 December, 1889: This date is probably wrong, judging from evidence in the letter. Jewett's "An Only Son" appeared in Atlantic Monthly in November 1883, "The Dulham Ladies" in April 1886, and "A Gray Man" first appeared in A White Heron in 1886. The story of a runaway husband mentioned in this letter almost certainly is "Marsh Rosemary," which appeared in Atlantic in May 1886. See below on the Century paper.
Christopher North's "Genius and Character of Burns"--father's old Wiley and Putnam copy ... the Wilson book: Robert Burns (1759-1796), famous Scots poet. John Wilson (1785-1854) wrote under the name of Christopher North. Wilson's The Genius, and Character of Burns was published by Wiley and Putnam in 1845.
the Academy: The Berwick Academy in South Berwick, Maine. See "The Old Town of Berwick," for information and illustrations.
the mood had spent itself: see the opening of R. W. Emerson's, "Nature."
Madame Sand's mother: Jewett has been reading George Sand, perhaps Story of My Life (1854-55).
a "Century." Do read the Virginia girl's paper about the war: Mrs. Burton (C. C.) Harrison's "A Virginia Girl in the First Year of the War" appeared in Century 30 (August 1885) 606-614.
I grow more and more sure that I don't: Near the end of "The Poet," Emerson says: "He hears a voice, he sees a beckoning. Then he is apprised, with wonder, what herds of daemons hem him in. He can no more rest; he says, with the old painter, "By God, it is in me, and must go forth of me." He pursues a beauty, half seen, which flies before him. The poet pours out verses in every solitude. Most of the things he says are conventional, no doubt; but by and by he says something which is original and beautiful. That charms him. He would say nothing else but such things. In our way of talking, we say, 'That is yours, this is mine;' but the poet knows well that it is not his; that it is as strange and beautiful to him as to you; he would fain hear the like eloquence at length."
Notes for letter 28
Dr. Lord: The Lords were a prominent family in South Berwick. Jewett recounts portions of the family history in "The Old Town of Berwick."
Cardinal Wiseman and Archbishop Whately ... Cheyne Row ... Dean Gaisford: Carlyle and his wife, Jane Welsh, moved from rural Scotland to Cheyne Walk in Chelsea in 1834 after publishing Sartor Resartus. There he became known as "the sage of Chelsea." Nicholas Patrick Stephen Wiseman (1802-1863) was a cardinal. Richard Whately (1787-1863) was Archbishop of Dublin. Thomas Gaisford (1779-1855) was Regius Professor of Greek and Dean of Christ Church, Oxford.
Note for letter 29
Mr. Arnold's "Essays on Celtic Poetry": Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) published his book On the Study of Celtic Literature, and on Translating Homer in 1867.
Notes for letter 30
the copyright bill: In 1891, The United States Congress passed copyright legislation that extended protection to periodicals.
French Spoliation Claims, 1891: Among the possibilities, these almost certainly are the French Spoliation Claims arising from the French Revolution, during which France blockaded England and caused losses to American shipping in 1793-1798. In an agreement, the Convention of 1800, the United States effected an exchange of favors by which the U.S. Government took over responsibility for the claims. After much discussion and delay, the government agreed to a settlement of these claims that involved paying a portion of them over the period between 1885 and 1925.
Jocky: this unidentified "personage" may be a horse.
Mr. Putnam: Probably George Haven Putnam (1844-1930), who was an editor at G. P. Putnam's Sons, publisher of The Story of the Normans.
"Vanity Fair": William Makepeace Thackeray, an English fiction writer, published Vanity Fair in 1847-8.
Daudet and Howells and Mark Twain and Turgenieff and Miss Thackeray: Alphonse Daudet (1840-1897), French novelist and author of sketches. William Dean Howells (1837-1920) was the American author of The Rise of Silas Lapham (1885), and served as editor at The Atlantic and Harper's. Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens, 1835-1910) was the American author of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885). Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883) was the Russian author of Fathers and Sons (1862). Miss Thackeray is William M. Thackeray's daughter, also a novelist, Anne Isabella Thackeray, Lady Ritchie (1837-1919).
the Zola school: Émile Zola (1840-1902) was considered the leader of a French school of naturalistic fiction.
Notes for letter 31
Mrs. Oliphant's "Royal Edinburgh" ... Mary Queen of Scots ... John Knox ... Sir Walter: Margaret Oliphant (1828-1897), prolific Scots author, Published Royal Edinburgh; Her Saints, Kings, Prophets and Poets in 1890. Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots (1542-1587) was imprisoned and beheaded as a dangerous rival by Queen Elizabeth I. John Knox (1513-1572) was a Scots Calvinist writer and preacher. His History of the Reformation of Religioun within the Realme of Scotland (1587) includes an account of Mary Stuart in Scotland. Sir Walter is Sir Walter Scott.
Chapel Station ... Teaby: Jewett's "The Quest of Mr. Teaby" appeared in The Atlantic in January 1890.
Note for letter 33
T. B. Aldrich ... collegiate honors ... "Elmwood" ... "A Bad Boy" ... Lilian: The Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia says Thomas Bailey Aldrich "is best remembered for his semi-autobiographical novel The Story of a Bad Boy (1870), a work that resembles but predates by six years Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer." Aldrich received several honorary degrees, but if Jewett is referring to one of them as a current event, this letter must be out of chronological sequence. Aldrich received a Master of Arts from Yale in 1881 and Harvard in 1886, Doctor of Letters from Yale in 1901 and University of Pennsylvania in 1905. "Elmwood" was Aldrich's memorial poem to James Russell Lowell, whose family home, Elmwood, was in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Since Lowell died in 1891, Jewett probably does not refer to the 1881 degree from Yale. Lilian Aldrich was Thomas's wife.
Notes for letter 34
"White Heron": A White Heron and Other Stories appeared in 1886. Jewett's "Marsh Rosemary" also appeared in 1886.
Donne's poems: John Donne (1572-1631), English metaphysical poet and essayist.
Notes for letter 35
Decoration Day: A holiday for honoring soldiers of the American Civil War, this later became Memorial Day (May 30), in honor of those who served in all American wars.
Dover or Portsmouth: See above for Portsmouth. Dover is a large town west of Portsmouth. York and Wells are among the frequently mentioned towns in Maine that are not far from South Berwick, from which Jewett often writes her letters. Jewett wrote at least two pieces on the value of small towns celebrating Decoration Day themselves, "Decoration Day" and "The Parshley Celebration."
anemones: "A genus of plants (N.O. Ranunculaceæ) with handsome flowers, widely diffused over the temperate regions of the world, of which one (A. nemorosa), called also the Wind-flower, is common in Britain, and several brilliantly-flowered species are cultivated." (Source: Oxford English Dictionary).
White Mountains: Northern limit of the Appalachian Mountains in northern New Hampshire and western Maine.
Roger: Judith Roman identifies Roger as an Irish Setter in Annie Adams Fields: The Spirit of Charles Street (115).
Note for letter 36
great Emerson: Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
Notes for letter 37
Mr. Pepys says: Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) was an English diarist and civil servant, influential in the development of the British navy. He kept a famous, detailed diary of his life and of contemporary events in London from 1660-1669.
a martyr to the worst sort of rheumatism: Jewett herself suffered from rheumatism. Among the characters she represents so suffering are Nancy Gale in "The Life of Nancy" and Mrs Hight in "A Dunnet Shepherdess."
White Rose Road: See Jewett's sketch, "The White Rose Road" in Strangers and Wayfarers.
Madame Blanc's letter: Mme. Thérèse Blanc (1840-1907) wrote under the name of Th. Bentzon. She wrote more than thirty novels during a successful literary career. She made a specialty of translating American authors into French, including Mark Twain, Bret Harte, and Jewett. (Source: Cary, Sarah Orne Jewett Letters 111).
Notes for letter 38
John and Theodore, like "Benjy" and "Tom Brown," have gone to the Rochester fair: Juliana Horatia Gatty Ewing (1841-1885) wrote the children's story, Benjy in Beastland. My information gives 1895 and 1915 as reprint dates, but the original publication date is unknown. Thomas Hughes (1822-1896) published Tom Brown at Rugby (1857).
"Miss Angel" .. Tauchnitz one ... Dr. Johnson: Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) was a prolific and multi-talented English writer and lexicographer, known for his witty conversation. Miss Angel by Anne Thackeray, Lady Ritchie (1837-1919) appeared in a Tauchnitz edition from Leipzig in 1875. In The Atlantic (April 1882: 563-4) is an appreciative essay on the history of Tauchnitz editions, high quality inexpensive reprints of English and American literary works usually published in partnership with their authors, but free of copyright restrictions.
The biography of Rufus Choate: a two volume book on Rufus Choate (1799-1859) is The works of Rufus Choate : with a memoir of his life (1862).
Notes for letter 39
in Voltaire. "He labored at every new work as if he had his reputation still to make!": Voltaire, (François-Marie Arouet, 1694-1778), according to the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, "was the most influential figure of the French Enlightenment." He is best known, perhaps, for his novella, Candide (1766). Information on the location of the quotation would be welcome.
Libbie's catalogue: Charles F. Libbie & Co., auctioneers of Boston, regularly published catalogs of book collections to be sold at auction. For example: Catalogue of a portion of the libraries of the late Rev. Convers Francis, and his sister, Lydia M. Child, of Cambridge, being a very interesting collection of standard, rare and curious books ... To be sold by auction ... May 12, 13 and 14, in the Library salesroom, no. 608 Washington St. ... (1887).
County Conference: a meeting of representatives from local churches. See above note for Manchester.
Notes for letter 40
change in the "Atlantic's" fortunes: Aldrich left the editorship of the Atlantic Monthly in April 1890, to be replaced by Horace Scudder (1838-1902), who served 1890-1898. (Source: Cary, Sarah Orne Jewett Letters, pp. 64-5). Jewett's relations with Scudder were less cordial than those with Aldrich; see Ellery Sedgwick, "Horace Scudder and Sarah Orne Jewett: Market Forces in Publishing in the 1890s" in American Periodicals 2 (Fall 1992), pp. 79-88.
George Sand ... Correspondence: Probably George Sand's Correspondance 1812-1876 (Paris 1882), in six volumes. In their bibliography of Jewett's works, Weber and Weber report that Le Roman de la Femme-Médecin, translated by Madame Blanc-Bentzon, appeared in 1893. This volume included in translation, The Country Doctor and ten other short stories and sketches. The date of publication is somewhat problematic, since it is later than the date of this letter; however, Weber and Weber are not perfectly sure of the publication date.
Notes for letter 41
poor Richard Jefferies. ... "The Story of My Heart": Richard Jefferies (1848-1887) was an English writer and naturalist, best remembered for his nature writing. The Story of My Heart (1883), perhaps his most famous work, caused some scandal upon its publication; it is a spiritual autobiography that tells of his growth into a kind of transcendentalism that rejects traditional Christianity.
"thy friend" ... and of "Phantastes": "Thy friend" is John Greenleaf Whittier, the Quaker poet. Phantastes: A Faery Romance for Men and Women (1858) is by the Scot, George MacDonald (1824-1905).
one of Hawthorne's American Journal volumes ... "Rambles about Portsmouth" ... Brewster: Nathaniel Hawthorne's (1804-1864) American Note Books appeared in several editions and forms beginning in 1868. Charles Warren Brewster's (1802-1868) Rambles about Portsmouth: Sketches of Persons, Localities, and Incidents of Two Centuries: Principally from Tradition and Unpublished Documents appeared in 1859 (First Series) and 1869 (Second Series). The account of the market women is in "Second Series," Ramble 132. Jewett drew upon this description in Chapter 7 of The Tory Lover.
Boswell nor Johnson: James Boswell (1740-1795) published The Life of Samuel Johnson in 1791. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) was one of the most prominent English literary figures of the eighteenth century.
"Too useful to be lonely and too busy to be sad." ... Miss Phelps: Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (1844-1911) was the author of Dr. Zay, a novel about an aspiring woman doctor, like Jewett's A Country Doctor. She probably was best known for her Spiritualist novel, The Gates Ajar. Information regarding the source of the quotation would be welcome.
Notes for letter 42
Thursday morning: Dating this letter is problematic. Assuming that all the parts are from the same original, then the final note below indicates that Jewett could not have written it until 1882, when the original French publication appeared. Though it is not impossible that Jewett and Fields read Sand's letters in French, they are more likely to have read the English translation. Then thisletter almost certainly would come from 1886: Letters of George Sand, translated by Raphael Ledos de Beaufort, Raphael, (London : Ward and Downey, 1886).
Selborne's White wrote to the Hon. Daines Barrington: Gilbert White (1720-1793), though a fellow at Oriel College, Oxford, lived most of his life at Selbourne, in England, as a curate, where he could follow his avocations of naturalist and writer. His correspondence with Daines Barrington grew into the Natural History and Antiquities of Selbourne (1788). Daines Barrington (1727-1800) was a naturalist and historian interested in the exploration of the North Pole. His publications include Miscellanies (c. 1900), essays on various subjects, and several books on North Pole exploration.
Judge Chamberlain ... a desk at the Public Library: Mellen Chamberlain, according to Paula Blanchard, was a Boston municipal judge and an amateur historian to whom Jewett turned for advice about her writing early in her career. He was director of the Boston Public Library from 1878 to 1890. (See Blanchard 63)
the Ruskin biography: John Ruskin (1819-1900) was an English art and literary critic and social reformer. It is difficult to know which Ruskin biography she was reading. Ruskin's partial autobiography is Praeterita (1886-89). But it is possible Jewett was reading William Smart (1853-1915), John Ruskin: His Life and Work: Inaugural Address Delivered Before the Ruskin Society of Glasgow (1879).
"Two Years Before the Mast": Richard Henry Dana (1815-1882) published Two Years Before the Mast in 1840. He was a lawyer by profession and a graduate of Harvard College.
G. Sand's letter to Madame d'Agoult: This letter appears in George Sand's Correspondance 1812-1876 (Paris 1882), in six volumes. Richard Cary says in "Jewett to Dresel: 33 Letters," Colby Quarterly 11 (March 1975) 13-49, "Countess Marie de Flavigny d'Agoult is remembered for eloping with Franz Liszt and bearing his child, and as the author of History of the Revolution of 1848 under her pseudonym Daniel Stern."
Notes for letter 43
"Milton's Shorter Poems" in my pocket and read "Lycidas": John Milton (1608-1674), English poet and essayist is most famous for his verse epic, Paradise Lost (1667). Among his shorter poems is the pastoral elegy on the death of a student friend, Edward King, "Lycidas" (1638).
Agamenticus: The highest point in the South Berwick area.
Amaury Duval ... at the Salon: The French engraver Amaury Duval (1808-1885) was the author of L'atelier d'Ingres (1878) and Souvenirs (1829-1830) (1885).
Notes for letter 44
Coleorton Letters: Memorials of Coleorton (1887) was reviewed in Atlantic 61 (February 1888) 270-76: "Being Letters from Coleridge, Wordsworth and his Sister, Southey and Sir Walter Scott, to Sir George and Lady Beaumont, of Coleorton, Leicestershire, 1803 to 1834. Edited, with introduction and notes by William Knight, University of St. Andrews. Two volumes. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1887." The quotation has the tone and sentiment of Coleridge, but I have not been able to locate it in a survey of the Coleorton Letters. Assistance would be welcome.
"Life of William Barnes" the Dorset poet, by his daughter: William Barnes (1801-1886) was "the Dorset poet." The Life of William Barnes, Poet and Philologist by "Leader Scott" was published by Lucy Baxter (1837-1902) in 1887.
the parish priest in the "Deserted Village,"... "that one small head could carry all he knew": Oliver Goldsmith (c. 1730-1774), British writer, published his poem "The Deserted Village" in 1770. Jewett quotes from the description of the village schoolmaster (about line 216):
Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around;
And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew,
That one small head could carry all he knew.
Notes for letter 45
"Shaw's Folly" ... "Two Boys in Black": Thomas Bailey Aldrich's story, "Shaw's Folly," appeared in Harper's in December 1900 and was collected in A Sea Turn and Other Matters (1902). No evidence has surfaced that Aldrich wrote anything of the title "Two Boys in Black." Any information would be welcome.
A. F.: Annie Fields (1834-1915), wife of the publisher James T. Fields. Following his death in 1881, Annie Fields and Sarah Orne Jewett formed a "Boston Marriage" that lasted until Jewett's death in 1909.
Notes for letter 46
in Louise Guiney's poem to Izaak Walton, and I do so like Craddock ... so does Sister, with one for the "Atlantic" called Felicia: Louise Imogen Guiney's (1861-1920) "For Izaak Walton" appears in Happy Ending: The Collected Lyrics of Louise Imogen Guiney, New Edition (1907). The text appears below. Isaak Walton (1593-1683) was the British author of The Compleat Angler, or the Contemplative Man's Recreation (1653). After he retired from business, he lived in Winchester. Charles Egbert Craddock is the nom de plume of Mary Noailles Murfree (1850-1922). At about this time appeared In the Tennessee Mountains (1892). M. N. Murfree sister, Fanny N. D. Murfree was the author of Felicia (1891), a novel that began in July 1890 in The Atlantic.
For Izaak Walton by Louise Imogen Guiney
Can trout allure the rod of yore
In Itchen stream to dip?
Or lover of her banks restore
That sweet Socratic lip?
Old fishing and wishing
Are over many a year.
Oh, hush thee, Oh, hush thee! heart
innocent and dear.
Again the foamy shallows fill,
The quiet clouds amass,
And soft as bees by Catherine Hill
At dawn the anglers pass,
And follow the hollow,
In boughs to disappear.
Oh, hush thee, Oh, hush thee! heart
innocent and dear.
Nay, rise not now, nor with them take
One amber-freckled fool!
Thy sons to-day bring each an ache
For ancient arts to cool.
But, father, lie rather
Unhurt and idle near;
Oh, hush thee, Oh, hush thee! heart
inno cent and dear.
While thought of thee to men is yet
A sylvan playfellow,
Ne'er by thy marble they forget
In pious cheer to go.
As air falls, the prayer falls
O'er kingly Winchester:
Oh, hush thee, Oh, hush thee! heart
inno cent and dear.
Madame Bovary ... Flaubert: Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) published his novel, Madame Bovary, in 1857.
Carlyle's calling Margaret Fuller "that strange lilting, lean old maid!": In volume one of Thomas Carlyle: A History of His Life in London, Chapter 15, James Anthony Froude (1818-1894) quotes Carlyle's report of meeting Margaret Fuller (1810-1850), American journalist and essayist. Carlyle describes her: "a strange, lilting lean old maid, not nearly such a bore as I expected."
I think better of the Lord Houghton book, ... letter that is of Tennyson's, when R. M. M. was cross at him, ... Sydney Smith gave him, when R. M. M. thought he had been called names ... Carlyle's first long letter, from Fryston to his wife: Sir Thomas Wemyss Reid's (1842-1905) biography Richard Monckton Milnes (1809-1885) is The Life, Letters, and Friendships of Richard Monckton Milnes, First Lord Houghton (1891). The Tennyson letter is in v. 1, pp. 179-80. See v. 1, pp. 213-215 for the Smith letter. The Fryston estate was Milnes's home. Carlyle's long letter to his wife is in v. 1, pp. 255-58.
Note for letter 46A
your big Rumford book: Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford (1753-1814). According to the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, the American born scientist left the colonies in 1776, because he opposed the American rebellion, and was knighted for service to England in 1784. He then "became aide-de-camp to the elector of Bavaria. During his 11 years in Bavaria, Thompson reorganized the Bavarian army, abolished mendicancy in Munich, and established workhouses for the poor. In 1791 the elector made Thompson a count of the Holy Roman Empire." The "big" Rumford book is very likely, George E. Ellis (1814-1894), Memoir of Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford (1871).
Notes for letter 47
sad news from Elmwood ... Mabel's sorrow: James Russell Lowell died on August 12, 1891. His daughter Mabel Lowell Burnett (1847-1898), was his only surviving child. Elmwood was Lowell's home in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
fringe tree in bloom ... Petersham: The Fringetree, Chionanthus virginicus, has fragrant white flowers. Petersham is in north central Massachusetts.
Notes for letter 48
old Dr. Peabody gone: Probably Andrew Preston Peabody (1811-1893), pastor of South Parish Unitarian Church in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, then a professor and acting president of Harvard University. He was editor of the North American Review, 1853-1863. However if this is the right Dr. Peabody, the letter would seem to be misplaced in the sequence.
Mr. Alden, told us how exquisite William Watson's "A Prince's Quest" ... the Dedication to James Bromley: Probably Henry Mills Alden (1836-1919), editor of Harper's Magazine (1869-1919). Probably he refers to Sir William Watson (1858-1935), author of The Prince's Quest and Other Poems (1880), Wordsworth's Grave & Other Poems (1890) and verses on the death of Tennyson, Lachrymae musarum (1902). James Bromley was an English Methodist minister, active in controversies of the 1850s.
Notes for letter 49
poem in memory of Mr. Lowell ... "My Cousin the Colonel": Thomas Bailey Aldrich's story, "My Cousin the Colonel" appeared in Harper's in December 1891 and was collected in Two Bites at a Cherry, with other Tales (1893). Aldrich's poem in memory of Lowell is "Elmwood." See note above.
Mr. Booth's sending for us to come and have tea with him, and then showing us all the Players' Club: Edwin Booth was a founding member of the New York Players Club, (The Players; minutes of the first meeting, December 31, 1888, together with the deed of gift from Edwin Booth, 1908) Booth (1833-1893) was an internationally famous American-born Shakespearean actor, a member of the circle of friends in which Jewett moved.
Note for letter 50
Mr. Woodberry ... essay upon Mr. Lowell in the "Century": George E. Woodberry (1855-1930) published Makers of Literature; being essays on Shelley, Landor, Browning, Byron, Arnold, Coleridge, Lowell, Whittier and others in 1901.
Notes for letter 52
the chapter in Dr. James's book ... "The Value of Saintliness." ... a good page or two about St. Teresa in the chapter before ... the first paragraph as far as "It is a fine summing-up": From the point of view of annotation, this is one of the most puzzling passages in this collection of letters. It seems virtually certain that Jewett refers to William James (1842-1910) The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902). If this is correct, then the letter is dated ten years too early. In the letter, Jewett implies that she is looking at the book as she tells Annie Fields what passages in particular are of special interest. However, St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) is barely mentioned in "Saintliness," the chapter before "The Value of Saintliness," and I have failed to find the words Jewett offers as a marker in any chapter where Saint Teresa is discussed. I have not searched the whole book for that phrase, however. Furthermore, I have not been able to examine a first edition of the book. Though both the first and second editions appeared in 1902, it is possible that Jewett was reading the first edition and that the passage to which she refers was changed beyond recognition in the second edition. Saint Teresa was a Spanish Carmelite nun and mystic, author of The Way of Perfection (1583) and The Interior Castle (1588).
Mary: Jewett's sister, Mary Rice Jewett.
Notes for letter 53
Barbizon, on the edge of the forest of Fontainebleau: Barbizon is a village at the edge of Fontainebleau forest about 30 miles south of Paris. A group of French landscape painters was associated with this area in the mid-nineteenth century.
the Angélus: bell announcing the Roman Catholic devotion commemorating the Incarnation of Christ, which is said in the morning, at noon, and in the evening.
Place Vendôme: A major street intersection in Paris, where stands a column commemorating Napoleon's victories.
Millet's own house: Jean François Millet (1814-1875), a French painter noted for scenes of country and peasant life. Born in Normandy, he studied in Cherbourg and Paris, where he worked until 1849, when he moved to Barbizon.
Notes for letter 54
Cambridge ... Newnham, ... at King's College Chapel, ... Trinity Hall to see the portraits: Though this is somewhat confusing, it seems clear that Jewett refers to the town of Cambridge in England and to Cambridge University. The University is thought to have begun in the 12th century. Newnham was a woman's college, one of the pioneers in women's education at Cambridge. King's Chapel and Trinity Hall remain sights for tourists.
Warwickshire to stay with Mrs. Dugdale: This is Mrs. W. S. Dugdale, mentioned again in Letter 73. Her husband, who died heroically in an 1882 mining accident, was a beloved pupil of Benjamin Jowett at Oxford. In The Life and Letters of Benjamin Jowett (1897), appear her account of her husband's love and respect for his teacher and Jowett's letter to her upon Dugdale's death.
Oxford: Oxford University, in Oxford, England, dates from the 12th Century.
-- 's father-in-law, of the house of Kimberly, is in the new government: In 1889 Matthew Arnold's daughter, Eleanor, married Armine Wodehouse, "the younger son of Lord Kimberley of the India Office" (Park Homan, Matthew Arnold: A Life, 1981, 423).
Flying Scotchman pen: "The Flying Scotchman" in the nineteenth century was a London to Edinburgh train renowned for its speed. Hence, this pen writes very fast. (Research: Betty Rogers)
my Japanese crystal: Silverthorne explains this ornament, a gift from Sarah Whitman, in the photographs in Sarah Orne Jewett: A Writer's Life. This photograph with Jewett wearing the crystal on a necklace may be viewed on the opening page of this site, The Sarah Orne Jewett Text Project.
Mrs. Humphrey Ward: Mary Augusta Ward (1851-1920) wrote a number of novels including Lady Rose's Daughter (1903); she was best known for Robert Elsmere. Her grandfather was Thomas Arnold of Rugby, her father Thomas Arnold, inspector of schools, her uncle Matthew Arnold. Married to Thomas Humphry Ward, an Oxford don and later a newspaper man, she was involved in the intellectual and spiritual excitement following the Oxford Movement.
Mrs. Huxley, and her father and his wife: Almost certainly, this is Mrs. Leonard Huxley, or Julia Arnold Huxley, daughter of Thomas Arnold (Matthew's brother) and sister of Mary Augusta Ward. Leonard was the son of scientist and writer, Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895). Leonard and Julia became the parents of novelist Aldous Leonard Huxley (1894-1963) and poet/scientist Sir Julian Huxley (1887-1975).
Mary Beaumont: Probably, this Mary Beaumont is the author of Joan Seaton a Story of Percival-dion in the Yorkshire Dales (1896) and A Ringby Lass & Other Stories (1895), but this is not certain. Further information would be welcomed.
Cobham: Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) moved his family to Pains Hill Cottage, Cobham in Surrey, England in the summer of 1873. After his death, his wife, Frances Lucy, lived the rest of her life there. (Source: Nicholas Murray, A Life of Matthew Arnold, 1997.)
Whitby on our way to Edinburgh, seeing the Du Mauriers again: Probably, George Louis Palmella Busson Du Maurier (1834-1896), French-born artist and author of the enormously popular novel, Trilby (1894). Whitby is a fishing and resort town on England's North Sea coast.
Lady Rose's Daughter: By Mrs. Humphrey Ward, this novel was published in 1903; apparently a serialization had begun in 1892.
Notes for letter 55
Grande Chartreuse: The Grande Chartreuse is a Carthusian monastery near Grenoble in the Chartreuse Mountains of France. See note below for more information.
Chamounix ... Martigny ... Téte Noire: Chamounix and Martigny are towns near the French and Italian border in the French Alps, of which the Téte Noire is a peak of 5800 feet. The famous Mont Blanc, "the Monarch of the Alps" according to a 1907 Baedeker guide to Southern France is the dominant peak in this area at 15,782 feet.
sainfoin, (that pink one that I asked you about), ... ladies' delights, and large double buttercups, and harebells, and forget-me-nots, ... and Solomon's seal: Sainfoin or "holy hay" belongs to the pulse family of herbs, native to Southern Europe. It is associated with the hay upon which Jesus slept in the manger after his birth. See Luke 2. The Oxford English Dictionary identifies the lady's-delight as a violet. Harebells (Campanula rotundifolia) have blue to lavender bell-shaped flowers at the tops of thin stalks. There are more than 100 species of Forget-me-nots (Cryptantha) and more than 300 of buttercups (Ranunculus). Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum beflorum) has greenish white bell-shaped flowers and has been used medicinally for closing and healing wounds and bruises.
Chambéry, ... Les Charmettes: Chambéry is a village in Southern France, between Lyon and Grenoble. Les Charmettes is a country home open to tourists in the 19th century, where, according to a 1907 Baedeker guide to Southern France, Rousseau and Mme. De Warens resided.
Note for letter 56
Torcello: one of the islands of Venice
Notes for letter 59
the World's Fair at Chicago! for one of our magazines -- Scribner's -- means to be first in the field with a Great Representative Number ... a story for it: The World's Columbian Exposition opened in Chicago in 1893, a little late, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus's arrival in the New World in 1492. The May 1893 "Exhibition Number" of Scribner's Magazine was indeed special, designed as the "Conductors' Point of View" column said, as a "representative number of an American magazine . . . [showing] to what these popular mediums of literary and artistic enjoyment and information have grown." Contributors to this number include George Washington (by means of a document), William Dean Howells, Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Bret Harte, Walter Besant, Thomas Hardy, Henry James, Robert Blum, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Jewett's story, "Between Mass and Vespers," Francisque Sarcey, and George Washington Cable. Among the popular illustrators to appear were Robert Blum, A. B. Frost, and Howard Pyle.
Dr. Holmes ... Whittier's and Tennyson's death ... Mr. Curtis, and Mr. Samuel Longfellow, the brother, a biographer of the poet, and Dr. Parsons, an erratic man of real genius, the translator of Dante and a poet of no mean skill ... Dean Ramsay's and Felicia Skene's book: Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) was a poet and author of The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table (1858). Trained as a physician, he was the father of the Supreme Court Justice, Oliver W. Holmes, Jr. John Greenleaf Whittier (see note above) died in 1892. Alfred Lord Tennyson died on October 6, 1892. The Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia says: "George William Curtis, b. Providence, R.I., Feb. 24, 1824, d. Aug. 31, 1892, was an eminent American editor, literary figure, orator, and political leader. For 30 years (1863-92) he was political editor of Harper's Weekly." Thomas William Parsons (1819-1892) was a translator of Dante. I have not been able to locate a single book upon which Felicia Skene (1821-1899) and John William Ramsay, Earl of Dalhousie (1847-1887) collaborated, if this is the Dean Ramsay referred to. However each wrote a separate book on the same topic. Skene's The Inheritance of Evil: Or, the Consequence of Marrying a Deceased Wife's Sister appeared in 1849. Ramsay's American Experience of Marriage with a Deceased Wife's Sister: the Answers of the Governors of States, &C. To Inquiries Made by the Earl of Dalhousie appeared in 1883.
Notes for letter 60
"A Lonely Worker": Jewett's stories appeared in print as follows: "The Flight of Betsey Lane," Scribner's September 1893, "Between Mass and Vespers," Scribner's May 1893, "All My Sad Captains," Century September 1894, "A Day in June," probably renamed "The First Sunday in June," Independent, November 1897, "A Second Spring," Harper's December 1893, and "A Lonely Worker," Far and Near April 1893.
Pincio ... St. Peter's ... Forlis ... St. Onofrio: All are sites in Rome. The Pincio is a large public garden on the Pincian hill, dating from the first century. St. Peter's in the Vatican City is the central cathedral of Roman Catholicism. At the Vatican and the Quirinal Palace are frescos by Melozzo da Forli (1438-1494). The church and monastery of St. Onofrio are just southeast of the Vatican City.
Mr. Brooks's death: Phillips Brooks (1835-1893) became rector of Trinity Church in Boston and became Bishop of Massachusetts. He died on 23 January 1893. Jewett's "At the Funeral of Phillips Brooks" appeared unsigned in Atlantic Monthly (71:566-567) in April 1893.
"For all thy saints who from their labours rest": This line is from the first stanza of a funeral hymn entitled "Hymn" (1864) by William Walsham How (1823-1897).
Notes for letter 61
Sir Thomas Browne: Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682). Jewett uses this quotation in at least two other works: "The Foreigner" and in her father's obituary. In the final paragraph of Browne's "Letter to a Friend," (1690), Browne says:Time past is gone like a shadow; make Times to come, present; conceive that near which may be far off; approximate thy last Times by present Apprehensions of them: live like a Neighbour unto Death, and think there is but little to come. And since there is something in us that must still live on, joyn both Lives together; unite them in thy Thoughts and Actions, and live in one but for the other. He who thus ordereth the Purposes of this Life, will never be far from the next; and is in some manner already in it, by an happy Conformity, and close Apprehension of it."Letter to a Friend" was largely reproduced in Christian Morals (1716), where the passage occurs in the last paragraph, this time somewhat closer to Jewett's wording:
edu/letter/letter.html>Time past is gone like a Shadow; make time to come present. Approximate thy latter times by present apprehensions(Research by James Eason, University of Chicago.)
of them: be like a neighbour unto the Grave, and think there is but little to come. And since there is something of us that will still live on, Join both lives together, and live in one but for the other. He who thus ordereth the purposes of this Life will never be far from the next, and is in some manner already in it, by a happy conformity, and close apprehension of it. And if, as we have elsewhere declared, any have been so happy as personally to understand Christian Annihilation, Extasy, Exolution, Transformation, the Kiss of the Spouse, and Ingression into the Divine Shadow, according to Mystical
Theology, they have already had an handsome Anticipation of Heaven; the World is in a manner over, and the Earth in Ashes unto them.
her little book: Celia Thaxter's An Island Garden (1894) was her last book, published shortly before her death. According to Allen Lacy's introduction to the 1988 reprinting, the book is characterized by her "lyrical descriptions of the hollyhocks and poppies and scarlet flax in her tiny garden on Appledore, one of the Isles of the Shoals off the coast of Portsmouth, New Hampshire." The book itself was a work of art, with a design by Sarah Wyman Whitman and paintings by Childe Hassam. See above for information about Gilbert White.
"Three Guardsmen": the Three Guardsmen, Or, the Feats and Fortunes of a Gascon Adventurer is the English title (trans. 1851) for Alexander Dumas (1802-1870), Les Trois Mousquetaires or The Three Musketeers (1849). A popular play in English, The Three Guardsmen. published in New York in 1850 was based on this novel.
Charles Lamb ... as chickens walk after their heads are off: Charles Lamb (1775-1834) was an English writer of fiction, poetry, essays, and drama. Help locating this story would be welcomed.
Note for letter 62
new idea of Tesla's: Probably the new idea in this case refers to wireless communication, one of many inventions upon which Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) worked during his life. Tesla's best-known invention probably was alternating electrical current.
Notes for letter 63
Mrs. Kemble: Fanny (Frances Anne) Kemble (1809-1893) a famous British actress and playwright, a member of the acting Kemble family, who published a volume of poems in 1844 and an autobiography in 1882.
the Shaw memorial: Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907), American sculptor, designed a memorial for the all-Black regiment, which Robert Gould Shaw (1837-1863) formed and led into battle during the American Civil War. The high-relief sculpture stands on Boston Common. Paula Blanchard says that Shaw was the grandson of Louis and Elizabeth Agassiz (306).
Henry Lee: It is likely Jewett means Henry Lee (1817-1898), Boston Banker and author of a pamphlet, "The Militia of the United States." A Civil War veteran, he was the son of the economist, Henry Lee, Sr., also a successful international merchant.
"Life of Jowett": Benjamin Jowett (1817-1893), was Master of Balliol College, Oxford University, and Regius professor of Greek. It is almost certain that Jewett was reading The Life and Letters of Benjamin Jowett (1897) by Evelyn Abbott and Lewis Campbell.
T. Warton "The great fact of their love moved on with time": Probably Thomas Warton, son, 1728-1790. Warton was a poet, critic, and literary historian. However this is not certain, and help would be appreciated in locating the quotation and verifying the reference.
Note for letter 65
the artist drew: Dawn Helser points out that the artist mentioned here is almost certainly Marcia Oakes Woodbury (1865-1913). Born like Jewett in South Berwick, Maine, Woodbury studied painting in New York and Paris. Her paintings, "Triptych" and "Mother and Daughter," belong to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. She and her husband, Charles H. Woodbury (1864-1940), also an artist, were friends of Jewett. Together they designed illustrations for a Holiday Edition of Deephaven that appeared in 1893 (Cary, Sarah Orne Jewett Letters, p. 85).
Notes for letter 66
J. F. Millet: Jean François Millet (1814-1875), French painter.
Bourget's address on his admission to the Académie: Paul Bourget (1852-1935) was elected to the French Academy in 1894. His Discourse de Réception à l'Académie Française appeared in 1895. He says: "So true is it that the principle of intellectual creation, like all others, consists in the magnanimous and unreasoned gift of one-self, in the compassionate impulse toward others, in the warmth of enthusiasm, and that the genius of the artist is like all the great things of the world: an act of faith and love." (Translation by Carla Zecher)
Note for letter 67
Carter Notch: apparently a good fishing spot near South Berwick. More information would be welcome.
Note for letter 68
Maupassant's "Ficelle" ... some of Miss Thackeray's fairy stories, "Cinderella," ... Miss Wilkins's story about getting the squashes in one frosty night, and the cats being lost! ... Daudet's "La Chevre de M. Seguin" and "La Mule du Pape": Guy de Maupassant's (1850-1893) collection of Stories, Yvette. La Ficelle. Le Papa De Simon. Deux Amis. La Parure, appeared in 1907 in French. "La Ficelle" had been published in France in 1884. Anne Thackeray, Lady Ritchie's "Cinderella" appeared in Five Old Friends and a Young Prince (1890), The works of Miss Thackeray, vol. III. Mary Reichardt identifies the Mary Wilkins Freeman story as "An Object of Love." She says "It was commissioned by Harper's Bazar for the Valentine's Day 1885 issue, and was later collected in a Humble Romance and Other Stories (Harper and Brothers, 1887), Freeman's first short story collection." For an analysis of the story see Reichardt, Mary Wilkins Freeman: A Study of the Short Fiction (1997). Reichardt points out that there is only one lost cat in the story. Jewett probably read Daudet's stories in French. She could have found "La Chevre de M. Seguin" in Baptiste Méras's collection Cinq Histoires of published in the United States in 1899. "La Mule du Pape" appeared in the United States in Le Siége De Berlin, et D'autres Contes (1887) and again in Trois Contes Choisis (1891).
Notes for letter 69
Life that Mr. Norton edited: Charles Eliot Norton (1827-1908) was co-editor of the North American Review (1863-1868) and then professor of literature at Harvard University. He and his daughters' summer home was in Ashfield. He was the author of James Russell Lowell (1893) and the editor of a number of Lowell's works.
St. Hilda's Abbey: also known as Whitby Abbey in Whitby, on the east coast of England.
songs in "Peter Ibbetson": Peter Ibbetson (1891), by George DuMaurier (1834-1896). Mr. DuMaurier had recently died when this letter was written.
Sir George Tressady: Mrs. Humphrey Ward's Sir George Tressady appeared in 1896.
Notes for letter 70
first volume of Edward Irving and then read Carlyle's truly wonderful paper about him; in which, by the way, he says that Mrs. Oliphant's account of Irving's last days: Edward Irving (1792-1834), Scottish minister, founded the Catholic Apostolic church, based on his belief in the imminent Second Coming of Christ. Thomas Carlyle writes about him in Reminiscences (1881), edited by James Anthony Froude. Mrs. Margaret Oliphant (1828-1897) was the author of the Life of Edward Irving, Minister of the National Scotch Church, London: Illustrated by His Journals and Correspondence (1862), published in two volumes.
Matthew Arnold ... Literature and Dogma: See Matthew Arnold's (1822-1888) Literature and Dogma, where he argues in part that because much of contemporary religious thought lacks culture - a knowledge of the best that has been known and thought - many erroneously read the Bible as an authority on art and science as well as upon conduct.
Gift of Tongues: The Gift of Tongues refers to Pentecost as described in the second chapter of The Acts of the Apostles. Mrs. Irving believed that she could be overcome by the Holy Spirit and speak a foreign language not understood by her.
Notes for letter 73
Madame de Sévigné!! -- "5 fevrier 16 - ; il y a aujourd' hui mille ans que je suis née!": Marie de Rabutin-Chantal, marquise de Sévigné (1626-1696). Her correspondence with her daughter, more than 1500 letters, was published between 1725 and 1734. The sentence reads, "I was born a thousand years ago today." (Translation by Carla Zecher). Jewett could have read the letters in French or in an English translation such as Sarah Buell Hale's The Letters of Madame De Sévigné to Her Daughter and Friends (1855).
the transfiguration in the New Testament: See Matthew 17:2 and Mark 9:2.
Mr. Brooks: Almost certainly Phillips Brooks (1835-1893). See above notes for more information.
the Master of Balliol: Benjamin Jowett (1817-1893), popular professor of Greek at Oxford, author and translator. Jewett is again reading The Life and Letters of Benjamin Jowett (1897).
E. F. G. ... Dean Stanley: E. F. G. has not be identified with certainty, but very likely this is Edward FitzGerald, who often signed his letters E. F. G. And his friends sometimes referred to him by his initials in their letters.(Letters and Literary Remains of Edward Fitzgerald, 1889). Jewett mentions him at least twice to Sara Norton in letters in this volume, 99 and 111. Confirmation or correction would be welcome.
Arthur Penrhyn Stanley (1815-1881), who eventually became Dean of Westminster, was a colleague and friend of Jowett at Oxford, where he was professor of Ecclesiastical History. See note above on Mrs. Dugdale.
Notes for letter 75
Mr. Whittier's house at Amesbury: The poet John Greenleaf Whittier died on 7 September 1892, and therefore, it seems likely that this letter is out of its chronological sequence. Jewett mentions Whittier's honorary degree as a recent event. He received an LL.D. from Harvard University in 1886.
Wallace ... Burns ... Julian Hawthorne ... Lowell, and the President and Mrs. Cleveland, and ... Lowell's oration: It is likely that James Russell Lowell's oration was his speech to the Modern Language Association of American, printed in PMLA 5 (January 1890), 5-22. Also collected in his Latest Literary Essays and Addresses (1892), "The Study of Modern Languages." (Source: Cary, Sarah Orne Jewett Letters, 63). Julian Hawthorne (1846-1934) was the son of Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the author of several books. Robert Burns (1759-1796) was a Scots poet. Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) is the only American President to serve nonconsecutive terms (1885-89 and 1893-97).
Notes for letter 76
Mary Darmesteter, "Renan": Agnes Mary F. Robinson, Madame James Darmestetter (1857-1944) published The Life of Ernest Renan in 1897. The quotation appears in the last paragraph of the biography.
Oliphant's "Life of Edward Irving": See note above.
Covenanting Church: "The Covenanters were Scottish Presbyterians of the 17th century who subscribed to covenants (or bonds), the most famous being the National Covenant of 1638 and the Solemn League and Covenant of 1643. The National Covenant opposed the new liturgy introduced (1637) by King Charles I . This led to the abolition of episcopacy in Scotland and the Bishops' Wars (1639-41), in which the Scots successfully defended their religious freedom against Charles." (Source: Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia).
Notes for letter 77
Tennyson Life ... "The longer I live," he says once, "the more I value kindness and simplicity among the sons and daughters of men": This quotation has not be located. Assistance is welcome.
the great window: Sarah Wyman Whitman (1842-1904) was a designer of stained glass windows. She also designed covers for several of Jewett's books, including Strangers and Wayfarers, which Jewett dedicated to her. In a July 5, 1898 letter to Jewett (Letters of Sarah Wyman Whitman, 1907), Whitman announces the completion of a window at Radcliffe College. This was the first of two windows Whitman designed for Memorial Hall, the Martin Brimmer Memorial Window. A Harvard University web site on the stained glass of Memorial Hall says, "In 1902 or 1903, the Whitman window was transposed with MacDonald's Virtues window which was originally installed in the south window. The transposition was made, presumably, to allow more light for the Brimmer Memorial Window." The site also describes the second Whitman window, a memorial to the dead of the War of the Rebellion. More details and photographs are at: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~memhall/staingls.html.
Judith Roman points out that Annie Fields published an essay on Whitman's glass work, "Notes on Glass Decoration," in the Atlantic in June 1899 (807-811).
Notes for letter 78
Levens Bridge: Mrs. Humphrey Ward did some of her writing at a country estate, Levens.
S. W. E.: The identity of this woman is currently mysterious. We can tell that she is an elderly friend of the Jewett family, an old friend of Jewett's mother, and that she had opportunity to observe Sara Norton as a child. Information on this person would be welcome.
Are from the dead who go: "Mete Me Out My Loneliness" is by Michael Field, the pseudonym of Katherine Harris Bradley (d. 1913) and her niece Edith Emma Cooper (d. 1914). Their books include Long Ago (1897), "the extension of Sappho's fragments into lyrics," with Greek text, and Whym Chow, Flame of Love (1914). Below is the complete text of this poem as it appears in the anthology, Poetry of the Nineties (1926), edited by C. E. Andrews and M. O. Percival.
Come, mete me out my loneliness, O wind,
For I would know
How far the living who must stay behind
Are from the dead who go.
Eternal Passer-by, I feel there is
In thee a stir,
A strength to span the yawning distances
From her gravestone to her.
Note for letter 79
Canterbury to the great Shaker convent, ... more like a monastery than Alfred: According to M. F. Melcher, The Shaker Adventure (1968), the community at Alfred, Maine was the smaller; founded in 1792 and closing in 1931, the community had 70 members in 1874. The larger community at Canterbury, New Hampshire was founded in 1792 and had 145 members in 1874.
Notes for letter 80
Luxor: Luxor, in upper Egypt, is the modern city at the site of ancient Thebes.
Athens ... the most beautiful of all the "grave reliefs" -- no. 832: Karl Baedeker's Greece: Handbook for Travellers 2nd Revised Edition, 1894, indicates that grave relief 832 would be found in room 11 of the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.
bud: probably the Maine pronunciation for "bird."
the Charioteer at Delphi: The Charioteer at Delphi was a major archaeological find, excavated on April 28, 1896. According to Fredrik Poulsen in Delphi (1920), the bronze statue is believed to commemorate a victory in the Delphic games. Click here to see a photograph of the statue.
Notes for letter 81
Bucklands Hotel, Brook Street, Grosvenor Square, W. 19 April, 1898: Sister Mary and nephew Theodore joined Sarah and Annie for this long trip to Europe, Jewett's third, that lasted until autumn, 1898,
Hoe ... Sir Francis Drake and other great persons; but most of all of my poor great-grand-father, who was so unlucky as to be taken by privateers and shut into the wretched prison at Dartmoor: Jewett walked on the Hoe at Plymouth. Sir Francis Drake (1541-1596) was an English adventurer, explorer and naval hero. His family home was at Plymouth in Cornwall, where he spent several periods of his life. Privateers were privately own ships licensed by a national navy to capture enemy commercial ships during wartime. The United States employed privateers against the British in the War of 1812. In "The Old Town of Berwick," Jewett says, "This region bore its part in all the wars with generosity and bravery. The famous crew of John Paul Jones and the "Ranger" was mainly gathered from the shores of the river. One of the last of his sailors was, in his extreme old age, my father's patient." See also, "River Driftwood" in Country By-Ways and The Tory Lover. Paula Blanchard reports that Sarah's sea-captain grandfather, Theodore Furber Jewett, in the War of 1812, was captured running the British blockade in 1813, and imprisoned on a Dartmoor prison ship at Bristol, England (8). Elizabeth Silverthorne, also discussing Jewett's grandfather, echoes Jewett's assertion that he was imprisoned in Dartmoor Prison rather than in a prison ship. Information clarifying this would be welcome.
The approaching war Jewett speaks of is the Spanish-American War of 1898.
Notes for letter 82
Grignan, where Madame de Sévigné spent her last days ... and was buried: See note above for Madame de Sévigné. Grignan is in southeastern France, between Marseille and Lyon.
Orvieto: A town in central Italy.
farandole: a Provençal dance in which men and women hold hands and form a line, following a leader through a serpentine course.
Notes for letter 83
M. Mistral: Frédéric Mistral (1830-1914), a Provençal poet, author of Mireio (1859), leader of a movement to revive Provençal language.
La Belle au Bois dormante: The Sleeping Beauty, French title of the famous fairy tale. (Source: Carla Zecher)
the Revolution: The French Revolution of 1789.
the great window: Sarah Whitman's window, see South Berwick, Wednesday Afternoon, previous pair of letters to Whitman.
Notes for letter 84
Madame Blanc: Thérèse Blanc (1840-1907).
the time of Charlemagne: Charlemagne (c. 742-814), "or Charles the Great, Carolingian king of the Franks, came to rule over most of Europe and assumed (800) the title of Roman emperor. He is sometimes regarded as the founder of the Holy Roman Empire." (Source: Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia)
grave of Bossuet: The Grolier Multimedia Encyclopediasays "Jacques Benigne Bossuet, b. Sept. 27, 1627, d. Apr. 12, 1704, was a French Catholic orator and theologian who dominated Paris preaching for a decade (1659-69). While he was tutor to the dauphin (father of Louis XV) from 1671 to 1681, he wrote his trilogy on history, politics, and the knowledge of God. In addition to his scholarly writings, his meditations are considered classics of French devotional literature."
Grand Chartreuse ... Cistercian habit: Cistercians are members of a Roman Catholic religious order founded in 1098 by St. Robert, abbot of Molesme. The Grande Chartreuse, however, is a Carthusian monastery. According to the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, "The Order of Carthusians is a Roman Catholic religious order of monks, lay brothers, and nuns founded (1084) by Saint Bruno in the Chartreuse mountains near Grenoble, France. The order grew slowly and reached its greatest strength in the early 16th century, when it numbered nearly 200 houses. By the 20th century, however, the number had decreased to about 30. Carthusians are contemplatives who live solitary lives in hermitages and come together only for certain religious ceremonies. Their house in Chartreuse manufactures a well-known liqueur."
tourelles: turrets (French).
Grignan: see note above.
Notes for letter 86
David playing on a harp: See 1 Samuel 16:22-23.
news of the war: The Spanish-American War lasted about ten weeks during the spring and summer of 1898. Two main areas of fighting were Cuba and the Philippines, both of which became United States possessions along with other islands in the Caribbean and the Pacific.
Queen did once in old times about Gladstone, -- "He speaks to me as if I were a public meeting": This quotation appears in Sir Wemyss Reid's (1842-1905) The Life of William Ewart Gladstone (Putnam 1899) p. 325.
Notes for letter 87
Pyrmont: The Columbia Gazetteer identifies "Bad Pyrmont," a town in Lower Saxony, Germany, 9 mi. SW of Hameln, a noted spa with mineral springs and mud baths. See v. 1, p. 222. (Research: Betty Rogers)
très gais: very jolly.
Pepperell: A town in north central Massachusetts, near the New Hampshire border.
playing Rubinstein: Anton Rubinstein (1829-1894) was a Russian virtuoso pianist and composer. He made a major tour of the United States in 1872-73.
an old friend: Jewett later says this was her grandfather. See the letter 110 from Poland Spring House, Monday, in about 1903-04. To see Jewett reusing her grandfather's saying, see "The Gray Mills of Farley" (1898).June - no May - "Ladies' Home Journal," and read "An Every-day Girl": Jewett's story, "An Every-Day Girl" appeared in Ladies' Home Journal in June, July, and August of 1892 and was reprinted by Richard Cary in Uncollected Stories of Sarah Orne Jewett. The 1892 publication date suggests some mix-up in the sequencing of this letter or in Jewett's memory about when the story was published. In fact, Jewett was also in France in the summer of 1892 and may have written this letter then.
In Ancestors and Immigrants (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1956), Barbara Miller Solomon reads Jewett's sketch of the elderly Polish pianist as displaying the xenophobia common among New Englanders after the Civil War (175, 257).
Jewett's sketch of the musician seems more carefully written than many of her letters, as if she is thinking over material for a new story, as she suggests near the end. The writing is playful. The musician is accomplished, but age has diminished her ability. She is pathetic and amusing, with her cross looks, funny wig, bad table manners, and kitten-like demeanor. But Jewett confesses that this uncharitable portrait is wicked, and reminds Dresel that she has become friendly with the woman and feels sincere gratitude for "her good music."
Solomon notes Jewett's repetition here of her grandfather's remark that some people seem like a "parcel of images," made up of trivial appearances without a real inner self. But Jewett knows this view contains only "some truth." She is aware of her personal temptation to emphasize the ridiculous surface at the expense of sympathy: "but the minute you get beyond a certain point of interest and acquaintance, how this all changes!" This is like laughing at everyone at the circus, and Jewett reminds her correspondent that this is not just.
As the next note suggests, the date of this letter is uncertain. If Jewett actually wrote it in 1898, she may have been thinking of a story she published early in 1899, "The Queen's Twin," where Abby Martin, the twin, from a distant perspective clearly is ridiculous, an isolated Maine farm woman who has constructed out of happenstance a fantasy intimacy between herself and Queen Victoria. Meeting her, however, moves the narrator beyond that "certain point" where everything changes. "The Queen's Twin" ends with intense identification and sympathy between the narrator and Abby.
If, as is more likely, this letter is from 1892, then Jewett may have been thinking of her next Irish immigrant story, "Between Mass and Vespers" or of "The Flight of Betsey Lane," with its portraits of the denizens of a rural poor farm.
Notes for letter 88
Mary and Theodore: Jewett's sister and their nephew
"She is always new like the spring," as Edward Fitzgerald wrote once: Edward Fitzgerald (1809-1883), English poet and translator. In a survey of Letters and Literary Remains of Edward Fitzgerald (1889), I have not found this precise sentence. Fitzgerald came to admire Madame de Sévigné's letters (see note above), speaking often of them in letters after 1875, and quoting her in what the editor believes was the last letter of Fitzgerald's life. In a letter of May 8, , Fitzgerald wrote, "I am got back to my Sévigné! who somehow returns to me in Spring, fresh as the Flowers." Further information would be appreciated.
Hamilton house: The Hamiltons were an aristocratic family in South Berwick. The house figures in Jewett's novel, The Tory Lover. For more information about the Hamilton house see "The Old Town of Berwick" and "Looking Back on Girlhood."
Notes for letter 89
the Bolton Abbey of Wordsworth's "White Doe of Rylstone": William Wordsworth (1770-1850) published his book The White Doe of Rylstone in 1815.
Haworth: Anne (1820-1849), Charlotte (1816-1855), and Emily Brontë (1818-1848) wrote their famous novels while living at Haworth in Yorkshire, England.
"Les Charmettes": Les Charmettes is a country home open to tourists in the 19th century, where, according to a 1907 Baedeker guide to Southern France, Rousseau and Mme. De Warens resided.
Note for letter 91
Lady Macbeth. ... Madame Modjeska: William Shakespeare's (1564-1616) tragedy of Macbeth was first performed in about 1606. Madame Helena Modjeska (1840-1909) the internationally famous Shakespearean actor lived, performed, and toured in the United States in the 1890s, and her roles often included Lady Macbeth. During 1898-1900, she was performing in New York City, and Macbeth was in her repertoire. See Helena Modjeska, Memories and Impressions (1910).
Notes for letter 92
Hermione: Rita Gollin, in Annie Fields (2002), says that Jewett and Annie Fields were invited by Thomas Bailey Aldrich to be the guests of "their mutual friend Henry L. Pierce, a former mayor of Boston" on his steam yacht, the Hermione. It should be noted that Gollin corrects that dating of this letter. Fields's diary of this voyage is titled: "Diary of a Caribbean Trip 1896." It would appear that both this and letter 93 were written in 1896.
hurdy-gurdy woman ... State House corner ... Gulf Stream: A hurdy-gurdy may be a barrel organ or other similar instrument often carried and played in the street. State House corner in Boston faces the Boston Common. The Gulf Stream is a warm ocean current originating in the Gulf of Mexico and flowing into the North Atlantic. Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas.
Who was it said that you never get to a place until a day after you come, nor leave it until a day after you go: Jewett uses this saying in "William's Wedding," section 3, Atlantic Monthly (106:33-40), July 1910.
Notes for letter 94
Mr. Collyer: "Brother Robert" Collyer (1823-1912) a New York City Unitarian minister, writer, and close friend and correspondent of Annie Fields and Jewett. For an account of this visit, see Blanchard, Sarah Orne Jewett, p. 310. (Source: Cary, "Jewett to Dresel: 33 Letters," Colby Quarterly 11 (March 1975) 13-49).
Flaubert ... "Écrire la vie ordinaire comme on écrit l'histoire"; and the other, "Ce n'est pas de faire rire - mais d'agir a la façon de la nature, c'est à dire de faire rêver": The first quotation is from a letter to Louise Colet of March 27 (Easter Sunday), 1853: "To write ordinary life as one writes history" (Translation by Carla Zecher). The whole sentence, as translated by Francis Steegmuller (Selected Letters of Gustave Flaubert. New York: Farrar, Straus, 1953, pp. 148), reads: "It is perhaps absurd to want to give prose the rhythm of verse (keeping it distinctly prose, however) and to write of ordinary life as one writes history or epic (but without falsifying the subject)." The second quotation is from Flaubert's letter to Louise Colet of 26 August, 1853. "It is not to evoke laughter -- but to act in the manner of nature, which is to say, to cause to dream." (Translation by Carla Zecher). The whole passage as translated by Steegmuller (pp. 163-4) is: "What seems to me the highest and the most difficult achievement of Art is not to make us laugh or cry, or to rouse our lust or our anger, but to do as nature does -- that is, fill us with wonderment."
"Wanda": Wanda, Countess von Szalras (1883) is by Ouida (pseud, of Louise de la Ramée, 1839-1908).
a May: One of Annie Fields' grandmothers was a member of the old abolitionist and reforming May family. See Blanchard, p. 126.
Notes for letter 95
Stocks: The home of Mrs. Humphrey Ward and her daughter, Dorothy, in Albury, Hertfordshire, England.
new story ... "Sir George" ... Marcella: Mrs. Humphrey Ward's Marcella appeared in 1894, Sir George Tressady in 1896. In 1900, the novel Eleanor would be most likely to have been appearing in a serial. Dorothy Ward acted as her mother's secretary from the age of 16.
questions of our difficult Philippines ... the anxiety about South Africa: The Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia says "In the 1880s the writings of Jose Rizal (1861-96) helped spur Filipino demands for reform. Rizal's execution made him a national hero and sparked an unsuccessful revolution led by Emilio Aguinaldo. On June 12, 1898, after the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, Aguinaldo declared the Philippines independent in the mistaken belief that the United States supported his struggle. Instead, Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States. From 1899 to 1901, Aguinaldo led a war against his country's new colonial rulers." The South African or Boer War took place in 1899-1902, between Britain and Afrikaner settlers.
"The Queen's Twin": "The Queen's Twin," a "sequel" to The Country of the Pointed Firs, appeared in The Atlantic in February 1899 and was collected in The Queen's Twin (1899).
Notes for letter 96
La Cava with its pigeon towers and reminders of Sir Walter on his last journey. I have been to Pæstum ... Pompeii: Pæstum and Pompeii are the museum ruins of cities destroyed by an eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79. John G. Lockhart in volume 5 of his Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott (1902 edition, pp. 401-403) recounts Scott's visit to the Benedictine Monastery of La Trinità della Cava near Naples. He says Scott enjoyed this more than any other site during his last visit to Italy in 1832. Lockhart also explains that the pigeon-towers were "blinds" from which to shoot pigeons.
Orpheus and Eurydice, ... a certain little Pompeiian picture of the girl who turns back to gather flowers: according to Karl Baedeker's Southern Italy and Sicily 15th Edition (1908), "The Relief of Orpheus, Eurydice, and Hermes" is one of the treasures of the National Museum in Naples, where it was at that time in Room VI on the central pillar of the entrance hall, Item #6727. It depicts Hermes come to take Eurydice back to Hades after Orpheus has failed to meet the condition for her release of not looking back as he leads her out. In the second case it is probable that Jewett refers to a fresco now thought to represent Flora, also at the museum in Naples. Click here to see this work.
Notes for letter 97
Megara ... Easter Dances: A town in east central Greece, famed for the Easter dances of the women, which attract visitors from Athens, according to Baedeker's Greece: Handbook for Travellers, 2nd Revised Edition, 1894.
Bacchic Dance ... wonderful marbles ... the special one ... next that which has the young man with his dog, and the old father, and the little weeping slave-boy: These works are in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. They impressed Jewett so much that she remembers them vividly when she later writes to Louisa Loring during Louisa's visit to Athens. See Letter 114. Karl Baedeker's Greece: Handbook for Travellers includes a quotation from Goethe about the mourning sculptures that shows him similarly impressed (103).
Notes for letter 98
Coolidge: probably Katherine Coolidge, daughter of Francis Parkman. (Blanchard 213). But there is also Susan Coolidge, pen name of Sarah Chauncey Woolsey (1835-1905), author of What Katy Did stories, and whom Jewett and Fields visited regularly. (Source: Cary, Sarah Orne Jewett Letters, 77).
Dr. Mitchell and Owen Wister: Dr. Mitchell probably is Silas Weir Mitchell (1829-1914), one of the best-known American physicians of the nineteenth century, famed for his "rest cure" for nervous diseases such as neurasthenia. He was the author of a pair of historical novels as well as poetry and biography. Owen Wister (1860-1938), an American writer , is best remembered for The Virginian (1902).
dragomen: Arabic translators.
hoplite: a heavily armed ancient Greek infantry soldier.
Arabian nights: Arabian Nights' Entertainments or The Thousand and One Nights. This collection of stories originally written in Arabic became popular in Europe in the 17th Century. The collection is framed by the story of a king who kills each of his wives the morning after their wedding night. His latest wife, Scheherazade saves her life by telling exciting stories and stopping each night before the end, so the king must spare her until the next night to hear the end of that story and the beginning of another.
leaf of bay: in this case, a literal leaf of laurel, a leaf used for flavoring soups and sauces and medicinally for indigestion, headache, and rheumatism; but also used in crowns to honor poets in ancient Greece.
Notes for letter 99
Dana's room ... Yard ... Statue: According to Silverthorne's biography, Jewett and her sister, Mary, attended the Harvard graduation ceremonies of their nephew, Theodore. Almost certainly Jewett refers to the former room of Richard H. Dana, her friend, a Harvard-trained lawyer as well as a writer. Probably, then she refers to Harvard Yard, in which stands the Daniel Chester French statue of John Harvard, famous for its plaque containing three lies, because the statue does not actually depict John Harvard, because he was a benefactor rather than founder of Harvard, and because the founding date of 1638 should be 1636.
Fitzgerald's in "Euphranor" "and a nightingale began to sing" it ends: Edward Fitzgerald's (1809-1883) Euphranor, A dialogue on Youth appeared in 1851. Jewett refers to the last page of the piece, which ends with a description of the finish of a crew race apparently at Cambridge, after which the narrator and his two companions walk home "across the meadow leading to the town, whither the dusky troops of Gownsmen with all their confused voices seemed as it were evaporating in the twilight, while a Nightingale began to be heard among the flowering Chestnuts of Jesus." It is likely Jewett read this in William A. Wright's three-volume edition, Letters and Literary Remains of Edward Fitzgerald (1889).
Notes for letter 100
the only daughter of Bowdoin: Jewett was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Bowdoin College (Brunswick, Maine), her father's alma mater, in June 1901. She was the first woman in the United States to receive an honorary degree from an all-male college. According to Silverthorne, Jewett proposed a stained-glass window for Memorial Hall to honor her father. With President Hyde's consent, she commissioned Sarah Wyman Whitman to design and execute this window, which was completed on June 20, 1903.
Whitman's window honoring Dr. Theodore Jewett in Memorial Hall, Bowdoin College.
"bidding prayer": In Anglican and Protestant religious services, the bidding prayer occurs before the sermon, and usually contains petitions for various classes of persons.
Notes for letter 101
Miss Longfellow at Holderness: Alice Longfellow was a close friend and frequent vacation companion of Jewett and Annie Fields (see Blanchard). Holderness was apparently a resort in New Hampshire, but I have been able to learn little about it.
Winnipiseogee: Probably Lake Winnipesaukee, resort area in the White Mountains of southeastern New Hampshire.
"The Tory Lover" ... The House: Jewett's novel, The Tory Lover, was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1901.
Mrs. Agassiz: Elizabeth Cabot Agassiz (1822-1907) helped to develop the Harvard "Annex" into Radcliffe College, where she served as president. She was the second wife of the naturalist Jean Louis Agassiz.
Mr. Kipling's "Bridge-Guard" poem ... "For to admire and for to see": Rudyard Kipling's "Bridge-Guard in the Karroo, 1901," describes the feelings of soldiers set to guard a remote railway bridge during the South African War. The refrain is:
(Few, forgotten and lonely,
Where the empty metals shine -
No, not combatants - only
Details, guarding the line.)
"For to Admire" is the monologue in dialect of a professional soldier, remembering the adventures that have been the purpose of his life. This poem's refrain is:
For to admire an' for to see,
For to be'old this world so wide -
It never done no good to me,
But I can't drop it if I tried!
Note for letter 102
Mrs. Meynell: Alice Thompson Meynell (1847-1922), English poet and essayist. "A Letter from a Girl to her own Old Age" appeared in Preludes (1875), and "Renouncement" in Poems (1893).
"A Letter..." begins:
Listen, and when thy hand this paper presses,
O time-worn woman, think of her who blesses
What thy thin fingers touch, with her caresses.
O mother, for the weight of years that break thee!
O daughter, for slow time must yet awake thee,
And from the changes of my heart must make thee!
I must not think of thee; and, tired yet strong,
I shun the thought that lurks in all delight -
The thought of thee - and in the blue Heaven's height,
And in the sweetest passage of a song.
O just beyond the fairest thoughts that throng
This breast, the thought of thee waits hidden yet bright;
But it must never, never come in sight;
I must stop short of thee the whole day long.
But when sleep comes to close each difficult day,
When night gives pause to the long watch I keep,
And all my bonds I needs must loose apart,
Must doff my will as raiment laid away, -
With the first dream that comes with the first sleep
I run, I run, I am gathered to thy heart.
Dorothy: Very likely a visit from Dorothy Ward, daughter of Mrs. Humphrey Ward.
Note for letter 103
the quaint old Scottish house of Traquair: This house near Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott, in the Tweed Valley of Scotland, South of Edinburgh, is supposed to be the model for "Bradwardine" in Scott's Waverly. It can be seen in the Oxbridge Video, Great Houses of Britain (1986).
Note for letter 104
Mrs. Riggs, the author of our beloved "Penelope in Ireland": Mrs. George C. Riggs (1856-1923) is Kate Douglas Wiggin's name by her second marriage. She wrote a series of stories for young readers based on her travels in Britain. Three of these published during Jewett's lifetime were: A Cathedral Courtship and Penelope's English Experiences (1893), Penelope's Experiences in Scotland (1896), and Penelope's Irish Experiences (1901).
Notes for letter 105
my dear little Christmas book: It seems clear that Harriet Prescott Spofford (1835-1921) gave Jewett a copy of one of her books for Christmas in 1902, and it is likely this would have been a book for children (see previous note). It seems possible that the gift was The Children of the Valley (1901), or perhaps even an early copy of That Betty (1903). Spofford also published The Great Procession and Other Verses for and about Children in 1902, and she contributed the introduction to Gail Hamilton's Life in Letters, by Gail Hamilton (Mary A. Dodge, 1833-1896) in 1901.
my beloved story of "Mrs. Rutherford's Children": Susan Warner (1819-1885) is best known for her very popular novel, The Wide, Wide World (1850). She published Mrs. Rutherford's Children in 1853.
Notes for letter 106
Miss Austen's "Persuasion": Jane Austen (1775-1817), Persuasion (1818).
Alice Meynell's paper in the "Atlantic": Two pieces by Alice Meynell appeared in The Atlantic at about this time: "Charles Dickens as a Man of Letters," in v. 91 (Jan. 1903): 52-59 and "The Thames," in v. 94 (October 1904): 522-528, in same issue as Charles Miner Thompson's essay "The Art of Miss Jewett." It seems most likely that Jewett is referring to the Dickens piece, a good lecture topic for Meynell. Confirmation or correction would be appreciated.
Count Rumford ... I was going to write about: Jewett became interested in Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford (1753-1814) in part because his widow, Sarah, lived the end of her life in nearby Concord, New Hampshire; she was a cousin to Jewett's Aunt Lucretia. Though Jewett apparently did not write about the Count, the Countess may have influenced Jewett's characterizations of eccentric aristocratic women such as Lady Ferry and Miss Chauncey (in Deephaven). See Paula Blanchard, pp. 344-5. Richard Cary in "Jewett to Dresel: 33 Letters" (Colby Library Quarterly 7, March 1975: 26-7n) says Jewett produced an unpublished manuscript on Countess Rumford.
Notes for letter 107
Mr. Owen Wister's new story: Dean Sherman's "Owen Wister: An Annotated Bibliography" (Bulletin of Bibliography 28, January - March 1971, 7-16), lists a number of stories by Owen Wister (1860-1938) that might have been new at the approximate time of this letter, which appears to be 1903 or 1904. Perhaps the strongest candidate would be The Virginian (1902). Jewett's comparison with Fanny Kemble is significant, for the actress and autobiographer was Wister's grandmother.
seven fat years: The allusion is to Genesis 41, where the Pharaoh has a dream of seven lean cattle and seven fat ones and Joseph is called upon to interpret it. Jewett appears here to quote her "wise old friend" using an image of newly freed slaves to explain American "cheapness" to Douglas. She could be quoting or paraphrasing herself, for she commented on the seemingly irresponsible behavior of newly freed slaves in "A War Debt" which appeared in Harper's in 1895 and was collected in The Life of Nancy the same year. Also Jewett has Father Daley in "The Gray Mills of Farley" (1898) make similar comments upon Irish immigrants and offer the Church as an effective restraint.
My Lockhart: It is likely that Mr. Douglas sent her John Gibson Lockhart's (1794-1854) Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott (1837-8), probably an edition published by his David Douglas publishing firm of Edinburgh. If Douglas did send her this life of Scott, it seems likely that she is joking about finding him in the preface. In fact, Douglas does not appear in the preface, but another David Douglas is named by Walter Scott in the memoir that opens the volume. This David Douglas was one of the best of Scott's school fellows. Jewett is addressing David Douglas (1823-1916), who was editor of The Journal of Sir Walter Scott (1890) and of Familiar Letters of Sir Walter Scott (1894). Douglas's firm was noted for publishing American authors in inexpensive editions, introducing writers such as Henry James and William Dean Howells to the British reading public. I have not been able to determine whether the two David Douglases are related. At the Houghton Library, Harvard University bMS AM 1743 (48) are letters to Jewett from David Douglas, publisher 15A Castle Street, Edinburgh.
Correction or further information is welcome.
Our "Atlantic" editor, Mr. Bliss Perry: Bliss Perry (1860-1954), a professor of literature at Princeton and Harvard Universities edited Atlantic Monthly (1899-1909).
Note for letter 108
that little book of Mrs. Meynell's: Though I really have no idea which book this was, Meynell's Later Poems was published in 1902. See note below.
Notes for letter 109
sermon called "Happiness?" that S. W. ... in a book that Mrs. James Lodge put together ... "A Week away from Time": Mary (Mrs. James) Lodge (1829-1889) edited A Week Away from Time in 1887. Annie Fields provided a "Poetical Prelude." Sarah (Mrs. Henry) Whitman wrote "Happiness" for the collection. Mary Lodge contributed a preface, notes, and "Story of a Voice." See Blanchard, p. 225, for a brief description of the book.
Mrs. Wolcott: In a letter to Louisa Dresel of August 18, 1896, Jewett mentions Mrs. Edith Wolcott, wife of Massachusetts governor (1896-1898) Roger Wolcott. Edith was the daughter of American historian William Hicking Prescott. See "Jewett to Dresel: 33 Letters" in Colby Library Quarterly 7 (March 1975): 45.
"The Way it Came" ... Mr. James ... "The Liar" ... "The Death of the Lion": These stories are by Henry James (1843-1916). "The Way it Came" appeared in Embarrassments in 1896. "The Liar" appeared in A London Life in 1889. "The Death of the Lion" appeared in Terminations in 1895.
Notes for letter 110
German grand-mas: In Ancestors and Immigrants (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1956) Barbara Miller Solomon reads this reference as employing a negative stereotype of German immigrants to the United States (157-8, 253). Solomon details the degree to which the hurtful stereotyping of German Americans simmered after the Civil War and then boiled over during the Great War. Presumably, Jewett is drawing upon the post-Civil War stereotype that "the present German American was too concerned with the material advantages of life in the United States" (157). Probably, Solomon is right to suspect that Jewett depends upon such a stereotype of Germans; otherwise the comment would seem to lack meaning.
Jewett's sketch of the resort women she sees as not quite comfortable with their newly acquired wealth presents an interesting mixture of alienation and sympathy. She reveals an awareness of the unfairness of applying stereotypes, such as "German" and "newly rich," noting her impression of them as a "pack of images," lacking in subjectivity. This urge to "other" them arises when viewing them "in the mass," but when she attends to an individual, she finds her as humanly interesting as her other acquaintances. Jewett's "An Every-Day Girl," for example, illustrates her admiration for women with the talents for managing a hotel.
As Jewett observes the vastly wealthy fellow Americans at her hotel, she comes to feel alien herself. The backs of ladies' heads seem to tempt her to socialize freely, but their fronts make her feel inferior, as if she does not belong in the new "rich country" where she finds herself when on vacation.
As for the seriousness of Jewett's prejudice toward Germans, her use of a stereotype in a private, first-draft letter probably should be qualified by other biographical facts, such as her close friendship with Louisa Dresel, whose father immigrated from Germany, and who had a pair of German grand-mas.
Mount Washington ... Ossipee: Ossipee is a town on Lake Ossipee in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Nearby Mount Washington is the highest peak in the region.
Notes for letter 111
Mrs. Ritchie's stories ... "Mrs. Dymond": Anne Isabella Thackeray, Lady Ritchie (1837-1919), published Mrs. Dymond in 1885.
Don't you remember Fitzgerald's saying somewhere that he thirsts for the Delightful as he grows old and dry? ... The Village on the Cliff: The Village on the Cliff (1866) is by Ann Thackeray, Lady Ritchie. Edward Fitzgerald, in a letter of December 30, 1875 says that William M. Thackeray's novels are "terrible," because like Jane Austen and George Eliot, they deal too much with ordinary life: "I really look at them on the shelf, and am half afraid to touch them. He, you know, could go deeper into the Springs of Common Action than these ladies: wonderful he is, but not Delightful, which one thirsts for as one gets old and dry." In other letters, he says that he does not much like Ann Thackeray's books either. See Letters and Literary Remains of Edward Fitzgerald (1889).
Note for letter 112
the Herbal: Mary Ellen Chase's publishing career begins seriously after Jewett's death. An herbal that she might have given Jewett could be that by John Hill (1714-1775), The Family Herbal, Or, an Account of All Those English Plants Which Are Remarkable for Their Virtues, and of the Drugs Which Are Produced by Vegetables of Other Countries; with Their Descriptions and Their Uses, as Proved by Experience (1754), which was reprinted in 1900. Another candidate, also reissued in 1900 is Nicholas Culpeper (1616-1654), Culpeper's Complete Herbal : Consisting of a Comprehensive Description of Nearly All British and Foreign Herbs; with Their Medicinal Properties and Directions for Compounding the Medicines Extracted from Them.
Notes for letter 113
your "Atlantic" paper: Charles Miner Thompson (1864-1941), "The Art of Miss Jewett," appeared in Atlantic Monthly in October 1904 (94:485-497).
"The Country Doctor": Jewett's A Country Doctor was published in 1884.
Turguenieff's stories ... "Rudin" ... Stepniak's preface ... lately republished by Macmillan, edited by Mr. Garnett: Rudin was Ivan Turgenev's (1818-1883) first novel, published in 1856 and translated into English in 1873. Jewett was reading the W. Heineman (London) / Macmillan (New York) The Novels of Ivan Turgenev volume 1, Rudin (1894). This Constance Garnett (1862-1946) translation includes an introduction by S. Stepniak (Sergei Mikhailovich Kravchinskii, 1852-1895). Editor of the series was Edward Garnett (1868-1937); he corresponded with Jewett and promoted her work in England.
"Landless Farmer": Jewett's "A Landless Farmer" appeared in Atlantic Monthly (51: 627-37; 759-69) in May and June of 1883, and was collected in The Mate of the Daylight (1883).
Turguenieff's "Lear of the Steppe": Ivan Turgenev's A Lear of the Steppes, and Other Stories appeared in an English translation by Edward and Constance Garnett in 1898.
Deephaven: Jewett's Deephaven was published as single book constructed out of previously published sketches in 1877.
"The Only Rose": Jewett's story appeared in Atlantic Monthly (73:37-46) in January 1894 and was collected in The Life of Nancy (1895).
Notes for letter 114
Hermes ... Olympia: Karl Baedeker's Greece: Handbook for Travellers 2nd Revised Edition, 1894, indicates that Louisa has sent Jewett a photograph of the statue of Hermes by Praxiteles, which stood in the Museum at Olympia.
dear K.: Almost certainly this is Katharine Peabody Loring (1849 - 1943) of Beverly, Massachusetts, Louisa's older sister, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Loring. Blanchard in Sarah Orne Jewett says Loring was one of the founders of the Radcliffe College precursor, the Society to Encourage Studies at Home in 1873, where she was head of the history program (109). Helpful information also appears in Sally Schwager's Harvard thesis, "Harvard Women": A History of the Founding of Radcliffe College (1982). Katharine Loring probably is best known as the domestic partner of Alice James (beginning in 1873), sister of Henry and William James. Henry James, according to Leon Edel, loosely based his characters Olive Chancellor and Verena Tarrant (The Bostonians) upon Katharine and his sister (Henry James: A Life, pp. 308-314; see also Edel's introduction to The Diary of Alice James). Loring was responsible for the preservation and eventual publication of Alice James's diary, in which Katherine is usually referred to as "K." It has proven quite difficult to gain information about the Loring family, with which Jewett may have had several connections. For example Jewett's correspondent Louisa Dresel, was the daughter of Anna Loring Dresel. And it is possible that Augustus Peabody Loring (1856-1938) was a brother; his wife was a well-known artist. More exact information would be welcome.
Notes for letter 115
Rita Gollin in Annie Fields (2002) says of this letter, "After Sarah suffered a carriage accident in 1902, she entered into an even deeper friendship with Meynell than Annie's [Fields]. Forbidden to read or write, she longed for Meynell's poems ... as Sarah confided two years later.... Annie included that letter to "My very dear friend" in her edition of Sarah's letters, although Mrs. Meynell had hesitated to send it because it seemed 'too much about me and not enough about her'" (297).
Cowper preface: Alice Meynell (1847- 1922) published an edition of William Cowper's (1731-1800) Poems with her preface in 1900.
Santa Teresa's Letters: Jewett is likely to have read The Letters of St. Teresa by Saint Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) in a 1902 edition from T. Baker of London, though it is possible she had an earlier edition.
Notes for letter 116
our dear Mrs. Whitman's letters: Sarah W. Whitman died in June 1904. Jewett wrote the preface for Sarah Whitman, Letters of Sarah Wyman Whitman (1907).
Levens ... Cartmell Fell: Levens is an estate where Mrs. Humphrey Ward sometimes wrote. Information about the location of Cartmell Fell would be welcome.
William Ashe and Lady Kitty: The Marriage of William Ashe (1905) is by Mrs. Humphrey Ward (1851-1920). Kitty Bristol is the novel's heroine. The novel was serialized in Harper's Monthly beginning in volume 109, June 1904. Ward adapted it to the stage, where it had a successful run in the United States in 1905.
Note for letter 117
her golden string (that Blake writes about): William Blake (1757-1827) begins Plate 77, after Chapter 3, of Jerusalem (1804) with three epigraphs. The third is:
I give you the end of a golden string,
Only wind it into a ball,
It will lead you in at Heaven's gate
Built in Jerusalem's wall.
Notes for letter 118
Monday afternoon, 1905: As internal evidence below suggests, this letter almost certainly is misdated.
October "Spectator" ... a Review of the Queen's Letters: The Letters of Queen Victoria : a Selection from Her Majesty's Correspondence Between the Years 1837 and 1861 appeared in 3 volumes 1907. Therefore, it is virtually certain that the date of this letter is incorrect. The review to which Jewett refers, "The Letters of Queen Victoria" appeared in The Spectator (London) of October 26, 1907, pp. 611-612.
Her: Sarah W. Whitman.
Notes for letter 119
Mr. Woodberry and Mr. Greenslet (who wrote Mr. Lowell's life last year): George E. Woodberry (1855-1930) published Makers of Literature; being essays on Shelley, Landor, Browning, Byron, Arnold, Coleridge, Lowell, Whittier and others in 1901. Ferris Greenslet (1875-1959) was an editor with a summer home in White Mountains, near Ossipee, also the author of The Life of Thomas Bailey Aldrich (1908). (See Cary Sarah Orne Jewett Letters p. 76) Greenslet's biography of Lowell appeared in 1905, James Russell Lowell, his life and work.
a new sorrow ..."They are all gone into a world of light," ... Vaughan ... "Solace": Information on the specific death that is Mrs. Wheelright's "new sorrow," would be welcome. Jewett often was a guest on the Wheelright family yacht, "Solace," at Bar Harbor, Mount Desert, Maine. Henry Vaughan (1622-1695) was a Welsh mystical poet who wrote in English. "They are all gone into a world of Light!" appears in Silex Scintilans (1655) and begins, "They are all gone into a world of light! / And I alone sit lingering here; / Their very memory is fair and bright, / And my sad thoughts doth clear."
Notes for letter 120
Dr. Lewis's sermon about the Queen: Dr. George Lewis was pastor of the First Parish Church in South Berwick, Maine. He read Jewett's funeral service. When Jewett refers to "the Queen" she almost certainly means Queen Victoria of Great Britain, who died in 1901. That Jewett's description of the service in so many ways indicates that it is a sort of funeral or memorial suggests that this letter is out of sequence among letters from 1905-06. Dr. Lewis's A sermon preached to the class of 1893, Berwick Academy, June 25, 1893 was published by Riverside Press in 1893.
Miss Grant's funeral: Olive Grant, the South Berwick dressmaker.
sorrow nor sighing: See Isaiah 35:10 and Jeremiah 45:3.
Notes for letter 121
"Ivanhoe": Sir Walter Scott, Ivanhoe (1819).
Ouida ... "A Village Commune": The English author Ouida was Marie Louise de la Ramée; she published her novel A Village Commune in 1881.
Owen Wister has been telling the truth: It is possible - if this letter is out of sequence - that Jewett refers to Owen Wister's December 1907 address at Sanders Theater, Harvard University, "American Inferiority in Scholarship." An account of the address appears in Outlook 88 (January 11, 1908): 67-69. Correction or confirmation would be welcome.
Memory ... thought and character: See Jewett's essay, "Every-day Work," which appeared in The Congregationalist (September 13, 1883).
Notes for letter 122
Lieutenant Wallingford ... Mary W.: Characters in Jewett's novel, The Tory Lover (1901). Roger Wallingford, her hero, is based on the historical character, Samuel Wallingford, who had actually been killed at sea. Mary Hamilton - eventually Wallingford - is the heroine.
Mr. Buell ... confessed to Paul Jones: Buell's note confirms Jewett's conception of the relationship she imagined between Wallingford and Mary Hamilton in The Tory Lover. Almost certainly, Jewett's correspondent was Augustus C. Buell (1847-1904), author of Paul Jones, Founder of the American Navy: a History (1900). If this is the case, then this letter probably was written during Mr. Buell's lifetime, sometime before his death in 1904. And it is almost certainly the case that Buell fabricated the documents he sent Jewett, since his biography of Jones is a notorious fraud (see, for example, Samuel Eliot Morison, John Paul Jones, pp. 425-28). According to Walter Green, son of the ship's doctor on the Ranger, Samuel Wallingford -- upon whom Roger was based -- was a Lieutenant of Marines, and he left an infant son at his death, George Washington Wallingford, who was born at Somersworth, N.H. and became a distinguished lawyer (Preble and Green, Diary of Ezra Green, 1875). Samuel Wallingford was married for at least some time before joining Jones's crew in 1777. It is, therefore, a sad and interesting irony that Buell probably based his inventions upon Jewett's imagination, rather than Jewett intuiting a truth about the past. Evidence in The Tory Lover further suggests that Jewett read Buell's book before finishing her novel and accepted as truth (as did many readers for years after its publication) the elaborate and romantic lies Buell constructed.
The letter to which Jewett refers, but not the bundle of notes, may be read in Other Letters 1901. That letter would suggest that this letter was written shortly after 31 October 1901.
in the world!: Looking at some of the letters Fields used to compile this volume reveals a good deal of changing around and editing, as various readers have noticed. Perhaps some day, we will have a collection of the unedited letters, though Fields's edition will remain of historical and biographical interest. This particular letter was edited in several ways. Two small changes were made to the original:
which it is proved that Wallingford was a Tory; [was is underlined]
only true thing in the world!! [two exclamations instead of one]
Also, Fields ran two letters together. The paragraph beginning "Yesterday I took up an old volume" is from another letter.
Scott's "Lives of the Novelists" ... Horace Walpole and Dr. Johnson and Goldsmith: Sir Walter Scott's Lives of the Novelists (1821-24). Horace Walpole (1717-1797) is best known for inventing the Gothic novel in The Castle of Otranto (1764). See notes above for Johnson and Goldsmith.
short essays of Edmund Gosse's that Louise Guiney ... nice paper about Edward Fitzgerald: This essay on Fitzgerald appears in Edmund Gosse's (1849-1928) Critical Kit-Kats (1896). Gosse quotes Fitzgerald as saying that he thinks he must be damned for the "idle ease" of going off to fish with a fellow fisherman, having tea in a pothouse, and walking home (71). For Louise Imogen Guiney (1861-1920), American poet, see note above.
Note for letter 123
President Eliot's life of his son: Charles William Eliot, (1834-1926) was, according to the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, "a reforming president of Harvard University and editor of the Harvard Classics." Eliot's The Right Development of Mount Desert appeared as a pamphlet in 1904. The comparison is to Daniel Defoe (1660-1731), for example in Robinson Crusoe (1719). Eliot's biography of his son is Charles Eliot, Landscape Architect, a Lover of Nature and of His Kind, Who Trained Himself for a New Profession, Practised it Happily and Through it Wrought Much Good (1902). Charles Eliot (1859-1897) proposed a plan to the Boston Metropolitan Park Commission, which was published in 1893: Map of the Metropolitan District of Boston, Massachusetts Showing the Existing Public Reservations and Such New Open Spaces as Are Proposed by Charles Eliot, Landscape Architect, in His Report to the Metropolitan Park Commission.
Notes for letter 124
"Middlemarch" ... "Adam Bede" ... "Silas Marner": George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans, 1819-1880) wrote the novels Adam Bede (1859), Silas Marner (1861), and Middlemarch (1871-2).
Mahan's "Influence of Sea Power on History": Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914) was a distinguished American naval officer and historian. The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1783, was published in 1890.
that pretty "Georgic" of Virgil: At about line 64 of Book 4 of The Georgics, Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro, 70-19 BC) recommends the prospective beekeeper to "raise a noise / Of tinkling all around, and shake the Cymbals / Of the Mighty Mother" in order to call a swarm of bees to a new hive.
Note for letter 125
Biglow Papers: James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) published The Biglow Papers, containing poems and prose, in 1848 and 1867.
Notes for letter 126
Watteau fête: Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721), a French rococo painter. The dance Jewett describes may enact his famous painting, The Embarkation for Cythera (1717), but it is quite possible that others were "performed."
Theocritus: Theocritus (c. 308 - c. 240 BC), Greek originator of pastoral poetry.
the old address of my father: Theodore Herman Jewett's (1815-1878) Elements of Success in the Medical Profession. Introductory Lecture Delivered Before the Students of the Medical Department of Bowdoin College, February 21, 1867 was published as a 28 page book in 1869.
Notes for letter 127
Ellen Emerson: Ellen Tucker Emerson (1839-1909) is the daughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson.
we read with great delight -- the life of Miss Catharine Sedgwick: Catharine Maria Sedgwick (1789-1867), the American novelist, probably is best remembered for her popular novel, Hope Leslie, or, Early times in the Massachusetts (1862). Mary E. Dewey edited The Life and Letters of Catharine M. Sedgwick in 1871. Fanny Kemble's letter appears on pp. 415-418.
Miss Caroline King: Caroline King (1822-1909) was the author of When I Lived in Salem, 1822-1866. (Source: Cary, "Jewett to Dresel: 33 Letters," Colby Quarterly 11 [March 1975] 13-49.)
Bussy d'Ambois: This play (1607) was written by George Chapman (c. 1559-1634).
Note for letter 128
the last of my three dear grand-aunts: Paula Blanchard mentions one of Jewett's great aunts: Elizabeth Lord Jewett (200). Richard Cary may mention two more, the two wives of Jewett's father's cousin, Elisha Hanson Jewett (1816-1883), another Sarah Orne Jewett and Charlotte Cross Jewett. Blanchard (8) and Elizabeth Silverthorne (26-7), however, say that an elder Sarah Orne Jewett was the first wife of Jewett's grandfather. Which, if any, of these was the last grand-aunt to die I do not know. Help would be appreciated.
Notes for letter 130
for reason of "Renouncement" in one volume and "My Lady Poverty" in the other, if for nothing else! What a picture of Italy that last brief poem never fails to make before one's eyes!: These poems are by Alice Meynell. See note above for "Renouncement." "My Lady Poverty" appeared in Other Poems (1896)
My Lady Poverty by Alice Meynell
The Lady Poverty was fair:
But she has lost her looks of late,
With change of times and change of air.
Ah slattern! she neglects her hair,
Her gown, her shoes; she keeps no state
As once when her pure feet were bare.
Or - almost worse, if worse can be -
She scolds in parlours, dusts and trims,
Watches and counts. O is this she
Whom Francis met, whose step was free,
Who with Obedience carolled hymns,
In Umbria walked with Chastity?
Where is her ladyhood? Not here,
Not among modern kinds of men;
But in the stony fields, where clear
Through the thin trees the skies appear,
In delicate spare soil and fen,
And slender landscape and austere.
White Hills: The White Mountains of western Maine and northern New Hampshire.
Notes for letter 131
the "Hortus Vitæ": By Vernon Lee (Violet Paget, 1856-1935). Paget was a writer of English parentage who lived and wrote near Florence, Italy. Hortus Vitae (1904) is a collection of essays on self-cultivation. See next note.
Vernon Lee ... another book called "Limbo": "As some persons are never unattended by a melody, so others - and among them your humble servant -- have always for their thoughts and feelings an additional background besides the one which happens to be visible behind their head and shoulders": See previous note for Vernon Lee. It is likely that Jewett is giving Sara a copy of The Enchanted Woods, and Other Essays on the Genius of Places (1905), which contains a number of pieces on Italy. The quotation from Limbo and Other Essays (1897) appears in "The Lie of the Land," at the beginning of section VI, which opens, "This same power of sentiment and fancy, that is to say, of association, enables us to carry about, like a verse or a tune, whole mountain ranges, valleys, rivers and lakes, things in appearance the least easy to remove from their place. As some persons are never unattended by a melody; so others, and among them your humble servant, have always for their thoughts and feelings, an additional background besides the one which happens to be visible behind their head and shoulders. By this means I am usually in two places at a time, sometimes in several very distant ones within a few seconds" (here quoted from The Bodley Head, 1908 edition, 62).
Indian summer: In North America, a period of warmth following the first hard frost of the autumn.
Dr. James ... persistent sensation: Probably Jewett refers to William James (1842-1910), the American philosopher and psychologist. In an examination of James's chapters in Psychology (1890) on Sensation and Memory, I did not find the term "persistent sensation." Still, James discusses the sensation of the presence of an amputated limb, to which the term "persistent sensation" has been applied. Or Jewett might easily have been thinking of James's presentation of the phenomena of memory. More precise information would be welcome.
St. Michael's pear-tree: U. P. Hedrick, in The Pears of New York (Albany: J. B. Lyon, 1921), says that the White Doyenné pear was called the St. Michael's pear in the Boston area in the 19th century, when this variety was considered one of the best for eating, though difficult to cultivate. As pears became increasingly a commercial product, this variety disappeared along with many others of the more than 120 that Hedrick describes as having grown in New York and the Northeastern United States.
I wrote a story about this old house once, called "Lady Ferry," ... Mr. Howells would not print it: William Dean Howells was editor at The Atlantic when Jewett completed her story, "Lady Ferry." The story appeared in Old Friends and New (1879).
Was not his "Atlantic" paper full of kind and delightful things, and Mr. Norton's so exactly right! and Miss Francis's in the last "Contributors' Club" about Mr. Fields those were the days when I began!: Jewett refers to the November 1907 issue of Atlantic Monthly, which was the fiftieth anniversary number. Charles Eliot Norton contributed "The Launching of the Magazine." William Dean Howells' "paper" to which she refers, was "Recollections of an Atlantic Editorship"; Howells acted as editor from 1866 until 1881, thus including the beginning of Jewett's professional career. Miss Francis is almost certainly Susan Moore Francis (1839-1919), essayist and book reviewer for Atlantic. The unsigned piece on James T. Fields' editorship of The Atlantic that Jewett attributes to Francis was "The Atlantic's Pleasant Days in Tremont Street."
Notes for letter 132
your delightful book: Elizabeth McCracken (1876-1964) seems to have given Jewett a copy of her The Women of America (1904), which included praise of The Country of the Pointed Firs. But she may have given a copy of her later book, Love Stories of Some Eminent Women (1906).
Madame Blanc-Bentzon: See index, notes to first reference.
"Country of the Pointed Firs": Jewett's novel was published in 1896.
Plato's great reminder "... make them acquainted with each other": See index and notes to first reference.
Notes for letter 133
Miss Paget ... "Ariadne in Mantua": Vernon Lee (Violet Paget, 1856-1935) published Ariadne in Mantua: A Romance in Five Acts (1903).
Miss Marlowe: Julia Marlowe is the stage name of Sarah Frances Frost (1865-1960); she was a Shakespearean actor. Cary reports that Jewett wished Marlowe to produce Ariadne in Mantua (Sarah Orne Jewett Letters 169).
grippe: a cold (French).
Notes for letter 135
those lines of Fitzgerald's in the "Agamemnon": -- "And some light ashes in a little urn.": Edward Fitzgerald translated Agamemnon: a Tragedy, taken from the Greek of Aeschylus. This line appears in a chorus just before Agamemnon's first entrance. The Chorus describes the sorrow of the royal house at its losses in the just completed Trojan War. Speaking of the God of war, it says:
And for the blooming Hero gone a-field
Homeward remits a beggarly return
Of empty helmet, fallen sword and shield,
And some light ashes in a little urn.
After Miss Wormeley's death: Katharine Wormeley (1830-1908) worked with the United States Sanitary Commission and, in 1879, organized the Newport Charity Organization. She also was a translator of Balzac and other French writers. See also letter of October 20, . Source: Cary, "Jewett to Dresel: 33 Letters," Colby Quarterly 11 (March 1975) 13-49.
Note for letter 136
that Kingsley finished his book: "We cannot not have been in the West Indies'": Charles Kingsley (1819-1875), Christian socialist and writer. At Last: A Christmas in the West Indies (1871) ends with this sentence: "We could not not have been in the tropics."
Note for letter 137
McClure's: Jewett's last work published in her lifetime was "The Gloucester Mother," a poem which appeared in McClure's Magazine (31:703) in October 1908. In Letters edited by Annie Fields, a facsimile of the manuscript appears on p. 90. See "Poems of Sarah Orne Jewett" at this site to view the poem and the facsimile. When Jewett and Cather met, Cather was an editor at McClure's.
Notes for letter 138
Mrs. Forbes: It is possible that this is Mrs. John M. Forbes. Richard Cary writes of the Forbes family, "Miss Jewett periodically visited the family of John M. Forbes, the railroad builder, who owned his own island off the coast of Massachusetts. Emerson's daughter Edith was married to Forbes's son William. The island was a haven for summer and autumn guests who entertained themselves at boating, fishing, riding, and hunting. Miss Jewett relished most the invigorating cruises along the Maine coast in the Forbes majestic sailing yacht, Merlin" (Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett, 86).
the stop in one's mind that Quakers gravely talk about: The Quakers or Society of Friends practiced an inward mode of Christianity, in which a part of worship was inner contemplation, seeking the light of God's presence in oneself.
People are talking about "Diana": Mrs. Humphry Ward's novel serial, The Testing of Diana Mallory ran for a year in Harper's Monthly, beginning in November 1907 and concluding in October 1908. The novel was published as Diana Mallory in 1908.
Mrs. Bell: Probably Helen Olcott Choate Bell (1830-1918), daughter of Rufus Choate, and a neighbor of Annie Fields. See Blanchard, p. 215.
"Lady Rose": Mrs. Humphry Ward's (1851-1920) novel Lady Rose's Daughter (1903).
Notes for letter 139
Lady John Scott: Alicia Ann Spottiswoode, Lady John Montague-Douglas Scott (1810-1900). Jewett was reading Songs and Verses by Lady John Scott (1904), "edited, with a memoir, by her grand-niece, Margaret Warrender." Lady John Scott is best remembered as the author of "Annie Laurie."
my mother's brother, and died that very year abroad ... Mr. Bigelow Lawrence: The uncle is Nathaniel G. Perry (1826-1855). It is possible that Jewett refers to Timothy Bigelow Lawrence (d. 1869), whose notoriety is reflected in his book title: An Exposition of the Difficulties Between T. B. Lawrence and His Wife, Sallie Ward Lawrence: Which Led to Their Divorce (1851).
Notes for letter 140
"Diana": Mrs. Humphrey Ward's The Testing of Diana Mallory (alternate title Diana Mallory) was appearing in Harper's Monthly 1907-1908, and was completed in the October issue. See previous note.
Mr. Lowell's that begins, "How was I worthy so divine a loss?": The poem of James Russell Lowell to which Jewett refers is "Das Ewig-Weibliche" (The Eternal Feminine).
How was I worthy so divine a loss,
Deepening my midnights, kindling all my morns?
Why waste such precious wood to make my cross,
Such far-sought roses for my crown of thorns?
And when she came, how earned I such a gift?
Why spend on me, a poor earth-delving mole,
The fireside sweetnesses, the heavenward lift,
The hourly mercy, of a woman's soul?
Ah, did we know to give her all her right,
What wonders even in our poor clay were done!
It is not Woman leaves us to our night,
But our brute earth that grovels from her sun.
Our nobler cultured fields and gracious domes
We whirl too oft from her who still shines on
To light in vain our caves and clefts, the homes
Of night-bird instincts pained till she be gone.
Still must this body starve our souls with shade;
But when Death makes us what we were before,
Then shall her sunshine all our depths invade,
And not a shadow stain heaven's crystal floor.
From The Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell (1895) p. 464.
Note for letter 141
Lucas's "Charles Lamb": Jewett probably refers to Edward Verrall Lucas (1868-1938) The life of Charles Lamb (1905). This is described as the life of Charles Lamb (1775-1834) and Mary Lamb (1764-1847).
Notes for letter 142
Mr. and Mrs. Bryce: James Bryce, Viscount Bryce (1838-1922), was Regius Professor of Civil Law at Oxford University (1870-1893), ambassador to the United States (1907-1913), and also an author.
"Gleanings from an Old Portfolio," edited by Mrs. Godfrey Clark: Alice Georgina Caroline Strong Clark edited Gleanings from an Old Portfolio, Containing Some Correspondence Between Lady Louisa Stuart and Her Sister Caroline, Countess of Portarlington, and Other Friends and Relations in 1895/1898, three volumes.
Lady Louisa Stuart: A catalog entry for Gleanings from an Old Portfolio (see above note) says Lady Stuart died in 1813, but her life dates are given as 1757-1851 in John Buchan (1875-1940), Lady Louisa Stuart in Quarterly Review (London : England). London : J. Murray, 1908, Vol. 209, no. 416 (July) 1908. More precise information would be appreciated.
Miss Katharine Wormeley ... Peninsular Wars: See above note for Wormeley. The Peninsular Wars involved England fighting Napoleon's forces in Spain and Portugal (1808-1813).
the head of a paper in the July "Quarterly Review" about my favorite Lady Louisa Stuart: See previous note on Lady Stuart.
("Guinea!") stamp: According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "In 1663 the Royal Mint was authorized to coin gold pieces of the value of 20s. 'in the name and for the use of the Company of Royal Adventurers of England trading with Africa'; these pieces were to bear for distinction the figure of a little elephant, and 441/2 of them were to contain 1 lb. troy of 'our Crowne gold'. The 20s. pieces of the African company received the popular name of guineas almost as soon as they were issued, as being intended for use in the Guinea trade, and made of gold from Guinea; and the name was extended to later coins of the same intrinsic value.... The latest coinage of guineas took place in 1813." Hence, any coin with a guinea stamp would be claiming superior value.
"Lady John Scott" ... "Margaret Warrander": Jewett was reading Songs and Verses by Lady John Scott (1904, see note above), "edited, with a memoir, by her grand-niece, Margaret Warrender." Warrender's memoir is about 100 pages. With luck, Jewett might have found at least three other titles by Julian Margaret Maitland Warrender: Marchmont and the Humes of Polwarth: by one of their descendants .... (1894), Walks Near Edinburgh (1895), Illustrations of Scottish History (1889).
Notes for letter 143
Emerson: Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882).
the "McClure" story: James Woodress identifies this story as "On the Gull's Road," which appeared in the December 1908 issue of McClure's Magazine. Woodress discusses the influence of these letters on Cather in Willa Cather: A Literary Life (1987, Chapter 9). For a more detailed discussion, see Sharon O'Brien in Willa Cather: The Emerging Voice (1987, Chapter 15).
Notes for letter 144
"Troll-Garden" the Sculptor's Funeral: Willa Cather's (1876-1947) collection of short stories, The Troll Garden, appeared in 1905 and included her short story, "The Sculptor's Funeral." In Willa Cather, Sharon O'Brien quotes from an unpublished May 1905 letter Jewett had written to Witter Bynner at McClure's after reading The Troll Garden: "I cannot help wishing that a writer of such promise chose rather to show the hopeful, constructive yes -- even the pleasant side of unpleasant things and disappointed lives! Is not this what we are bound to do in our own lives and still more bound to do as writers? I shrink more and more from anything that looks like giving up the game" (343). This was written before Jewett had met Cather.
to the world: In her preface to Alexander's Bridge (1922), Cather writes: "One of the few really helpful words I ever heard from an older writer, I had from Sarah Orne Jewett when she said to me: "Of Course, one day you will write about your own country. In the meantime, get all you can. One must know the world so well before one can know the parish."
Matthew Arnold: See Matthew Arnold's preface to Literature and Dogma, where he defines culture as the best that has been "known and said" or "thought and known." See above notes on Arnold.
"responsible for the state of your conscience": The source of this quotation has not been discovered; assistance is welcome.
"the gleam": possibly referring to "the visionary gleam" in William Wordsworth's "Ode: Intimations of Immortality" (1807). Or perhaps, Jewett refers to Tennyson's poem, "Merlin and the Gleam" (1889).
before long: Sharon O'Brien in Willa Cather: The Emerging Voice (1987) says that this probably was "the most important letter Cather ever received" (344), and she summarizes some of what Cather said in her reply: "Cather ... felt like a broken circuit from which all the energy was slowly ebbing. She told Jewett that she was a trapeze artist trying to catch the right bar .... With her energy absorbed by work she didn't want to be doing, after a day at the office she simply didn't have the resources to write fiction.... [W]hen she tried to write a story she felt like a newborn baby every time....
"McClure had told her ... that she would never be much good at writing stories: she was a good magazine executive and should be satisfied with that.... [S]he often thought he was right. She knew that she was a good editor, but that only required application and discipline; being a better writer of fiction required something more, but she didn't know what that was or where to find it. And she hadn't learned anything about writing since The Troll Garden, she confessed. How could she possibly be destined to do something at which she was so inept" (292-3)?
Cather's dedication of O Pioneers! (1913) reads: "To the memory of Sarah Orne Jewett in whose beautiful and delicate work there is the perfection that endures."
In a 1913 interview, Cather said, "I dedicated my novel O Pioneers! to Miss Jewett because I had talked over some of the characters in it with her one day at Manchester, and in this book I tried to tell the story of the people as truthfully and simply as if I were telling it to her by word of mouth" (The Kingdom of Art, 448).
Notes for letter 145
Mr. James's - "The Jolly Corner": Henry James's "The Jolly Corner" appeared in The English Review in December, 1908.
dear Mr. Warner: Probably Charles Dudley Warner (1829-1900), editor at Harper's (1884-1898), co-author with Mark Twain of The Gilded Age.
Copyright © 1999 by Terry Heller
The letters in this collection are in the public domain and may be copied freely. However, some materials that may appear in notes are protected by copyright, and the usual restrictions apply to these materials.
Edited and annotated by Terry Heller, Coe College
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