Sarah Orne Jewett House

Sandpiper: Celia Thaxter


Poet and writer Celia Thaxter (1835-1894) became close to Sarah Orne Jewett through Annie Fields, Thaxter’s dear friend and mentor.  Annie and James T. Fields had introduced Thaxter to the New England literary scene.

Thaxter achieved widespread popularity in her work, becoming the most widely read female poet during the second half of the nineteenth century.

Like that of Jewett, Thaxter’s work reflects a deep connection to nature, particularly birds and wildlife, and flowers. Her flower gardens were legendary and became the source of her most enduring work, An Island Garden.

Unlike Jewett, Thaxter wrote “in between,” as many women writers and artists have for centuries, caring for an invalid husband, one troubled child and two others, a mother who was ill, and on top of it all, running a hotel on Appledore Island to pay the bills.