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Sarah Orne Jewett
(1849 - 1909) U.S.A.

Sarah Orne Jewett

Novelist, feminist


Was born and reared in South Berwick, Maine, near York. DAughter of a prosperous country doctor, she enjoyed a privileged childhood and remained financially secure throughout her life, a situation that allowed her to pursue her writing career as an independent woman.

She was early stimulated by Harriet Beecher Stowe's sympatetic depiction of her state's local color, and determined to follow her in recording the life of the dwindling farms and deserted, shipless harbors. Jewett's best work is based on the Maine people and places she knew intimately, and loved dearly throughout her entire life.

Her precise, charmingly subdued vignettes of the gently perishing glory of the Maine countryside and ports won her a place among the most important writers of the local-color school, and she was a significant influence on the writing of Willa Cather.

Her lover of 30 years was Annie Adams Fields, philantropist and biographer. This relationship has come to personify the "Boston marriage", a term popularized in Henry James' novel The Bostonian, signifying a long-term attachement between two unmarried women. Jewett died in South Berwick, in the house in which she was born.


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