Sarah Wyman Whitman was the premier book cover designer for Houghton Mifflin and Company in her day. At the center of Boston’s literary set, she was friends with many of the leading authors for whom she designed book covers.
Whitman designed nearly all of Jewett’s book covers and consulted with the author on design concepts. Theirs was a collaborative working relationship and close friendship.
“Dear fellow traveler — do you think Betty is a Chrysanthemum kind of a flower? In my brief but very clear glimpse of her in a few pages which were vouchsafed to me, I get this idea of her — I have so stated on the cover—” Sarah Wyman Whitman, (Letter to Sarah Orne Jewett, c.1889). MS Am 1743.1 -107, Houghton Library, Harvard University. Transcription and notes by Terry Heller, Coe College.