Sarah Orne Jewett

Author: Sarah Orne Jewett

Profile: Theodora Sarah Orne Jewett was an American short story writer, poet and novelist. She was born in South Berwick, Maine, US and died in South Berwick, Maine. For many generations, her family had been residents of New England.

She has been part of and a significant practitioner of the American literary regionalism, literary movement. The country of the Pointed Firs is her most notable works. She is well known for her local color works set near or alongside Maine’s southern seacoast.

Sarah Orne Jewett often accompanied her doctor father on his rounds and became acquainted with sounds and sights of her native people and land. She accompanied her mother who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis on walks and began developing a love for nature. Later in life Jewett visited Boston and got acquainted with prominent literary figures. She finished her schooling at Miss Olive Rayne’s school and later graduated from Berwick Academy in 1866. Reading books from the family library helped in supplementation her education. Gradually she started exploring less conventional religious ideas after joining the Episcopal Church in 1871.

She published her debut important story in the Atlantic Monthly at the age of 19 after which her reputation and literary importance began growing. Though she never married she established a close relationship with writer Annie Adams Fields and her publisher husband, James Thomas Fields. Jewett and Annie Fields started living together after James Fields sudden death. Jewett died after suffering strokes on June 24, 1909.

Writing style: Sarah Orne Jewett has a vivid eye for detail. ‘A White Heron’ has been filled by her to the brim with vibrant descriptions with deep and emotional undertones. Even if she has a wide vocabulary she hardly uses and difficult to understand words and instead chooses to focus on making the natural imagery of the story, pop.

Published Texts:


1899 – Cover, Jewett’s The Queen’s Twin and Other Tales

1977 – Deephaven

1878 – Play Days

1879 – Old Friends and New

1881 – Country By-Ways

1884 – A Country Doctor

1884 – The Mate of the Daylight and Friends Ashore

1885 – A Marsh Island

1886 – A White Heron and Other Stories

1887 – The Story of the Normans, Told Chiefly in Relation to their Conquest of England

1888 – The King of Folly Island and Other People

1890 – Tales of New England

1890 – Betty Leicester: A Story for Girls

1890 – Strangers and Wayfarers

1893 – A Native of Winby and Other Tales

1894 – Betty Leicester’s English Christmas: A New Chapter of an Old Story

1895 – The Life of Nancy

1896 – The Country of the Pointed Firs

1899 – The Queen’s Twin and Other Stories

1901 – The Tory Lover

1905 – An Empty Purse: A Christmas Story

Awards and Acknowledgements:

Jewett has been described by Willa Cather as a significant influence on her development as a writer after which ‘feminist critics’ have championed her writing for its rich account of voices and lives of women

Jewett was conferred an honorary doctorate of literature

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