Robert L. Gale
For too long Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909) was dismissed as a timid New England local colorist, known principally for her novels and short stories based in her native state of Maine. But in addition to her fiction, she also wrote poetry, plays, and essays. She enjoyed an extensive acquaintance with most of the established writers of her time and was on friendly terms with many lesser-known women of her era. With the publication of a selection of her letters in 1956, scholarly books and articles soon followed. And with the advent of the women's movement came a renewal of interest in Jewett's life and writings. She is now recognized as a uniquely sharp, compassionate observer of women and their lives in 19th-century New England. Included in this reference book are alphabetically arranged entries for Jewett's writings, characters, family members, friends, acquaintances, and professional associates and admirers. Entries on the most important works and persons include brief bibliographies. The volume begins with a concise introductory essay, and a chronology highlights the chief events in Jewett's life and career. The book closes with a general bibliography of works about Jewett. Given Jewett's complex characterizations and her subtle crafting of plots and settings, this book will be a valuable guide both for those approaching Jewett's works for the first time and for more advanced readers.