Sarah Orne Jewett House

Katharine Loring and Alice James

Sarah and Annie also traveled within the United States. In the winter of 1888, Annie was diagnosed with pneumonia. Under medical advice, the two took a trip that spring to St. Augustine, Florida, for Annie’s health.

On their 1888 trip, Sarah and Annie made a stop in Beaufort, South Carolina, and visited with the Loring family, including Katharine Peabody Loring.

Katharine Loring was the domestic partner of Alice James, sister of novelist and Jewett-Fields friend Henry James. The term Boston Marriage is attributed to Henry James through his novel, “The Bostonians” (1886). It is sometimes speculated that the characters originating the term were based on the intense relationship of Katharine Loring and Alice James. (It is also speculated that these characters were inspired by the Jewett-Fields relationship.)

In December 1892, on ten-year anniversary of the Jewett-Fields relationship, Sarah Orne Jewett wrote to Katharine Loring and mentioned her admiration of her closeness of heart with Alice.

Alice James suffered from life-long mental and physical illness. Katharine Loring founded the first correspondence school in the United States and was an advocate for women’s education.

This photo was taken at Royal Leamington Spa, England, circa 1890. Alice James is on the left, Katharine Loring on the right.