Digital Commonwealth

Celia Thaxter correspondence with Annie Fields, 1869-1893

Boston Public Library

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This collection contains letters written by Celia Thaxter (1835-1894) between 1869 and 1893. The majority of the letters are addressed to American writer Annie Fields (1834-1915) and document Thaxter’s daily life: writing and other artistic endeavors, gardening, book discussions, family troubles and successes, domestic life, and her experiences with Spiritualism. She often included descriptions of nature in her letters and was well-known for her descriptions of the Isle of Shoals, first from the serial publication of her essays in the Atlantic Monthly, then later as a single, collected volume entitled, “Among the Isles of Shoals.”

Also documented are visits with, and discussions of, noted writers, artists, musicians, and spiritualists including Rose Darrah, Mohini Chattergi, John Knowles Paine, Sarah Orne Jewett, John Greenleaf Whittier, William Morris Hunt, and Oliver Wendell Holmes. In addition, the collection contains letters regarding the infamous murders at Smuttynose Island, about which Thaxter later wrote an essay entitled, “A Memorable Murder.”

Locations in this Collection: