The Life and Letters of Celia Thaxter
by Rosamond Thaxter
Celia Thaxter graced the literary world of the last century as a rose graces a garden. Sandpiper provides an intimate and authentic view of Celia Thaxter's life and times, and in the telling reflects and revives much of her charm and grace. Raised with her two brothers on White Island light house at the Isles of Shoals, off Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Celia Thaxter developed a strong sense of the natural history of the islands. Her marriage at age 16 to intellectual Levi Thaxter, who had been her tutor, was her introduction to the literary world of Boston. Her poems first appeared in The Atlantic and she became one of America's favorite authors in the late 19th century. Emerson, Hawthorne, Longfellow, Whittier, Aldrich, and Jewett were among her circle of friends, and they, along with actors, artists, and musicians, came to visit her and vacation at the Appledore Hotel which her family operated on the islands.
Based on family records and traditions as well as previously published works, Sandpiper is an unusual biography. The author, a granddaughter of Celia Thaxter, wrote with skill and power. The book's many photographs help bring the story of the poet and her world to life. Fully documented and indexed, the book also contains the twenty-one poems that Celia Thaxter regarded as her best.
First issued in 1962, this is the fifth printing of Sandpiper. A valuable introduction to the literary world of the 19th century, it is above all a full-length portrait of the woman who so actively participated in and enjoyed that world.
Paper. 0914339-01-x $19.95
Also of interest . . .
One Woman's Work: the Visual Art of Celia Laighton Thaxter
Available from UPNE