Sarah Orne Jewett Additional Biography


(Novels for Students)

Theodora Sarah Orne Jewett was born September 3, 1849, in South Berwick, a shipbuilding town inland from the Maine coast. Jewett suffered...

(The entire section is 480 words.)


(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Jewett’s fiction has become increasingly admired as literary scholars give more attention to the functions of women in American culture. Her stories are mainly about women and girls creating their identities in relation to nature and to others and about the intimate communion with others that is one of the central values of social life. They thoughtfully show a feminine side of nineteenth century American culture. Jewett’s best fictions are beautiful, moving, and often humorous tales of quiet, ordinary people in rural areas who create rich and full lives, often out of slender resources.


(Literary Essentials: Short Fiction Masterpieces)

Sarah Orne Jewett spent most of her life in South Berwick on the Maine coast, where she was born on September 3, 1849. Daughter of a country doctor, she aspired to medicine herself, but moved toward writing because of early ill health (which led her father to take her on his calls, for fresh air), the special literary education encouraged by her family, and her discovery as a teenager of her “little postage stamp of soil” in reading Harriet Beecher Stowe’s The Pearl of Orr’s Island (1862). Her father, especially, encouraged her to develop her keen powers of observation, and her grandfathers stimulated her interest in storytelling. After the death of her father in 1878, she began a lifelong friendship with Annie...

(The entire section is 578 words.)


(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

Sarah Orne Jewett was born in South Berwick, Maine, on September 3, 1849, the second of three daughters of a country doctor. The colonial mansion in which she was born and reared had been purchased and lavishly furnished by her paternal grandfather, Theodore Furber Jewett, a sea captain turned shipowner and merchant whose fortune enabled Sarah to live in comfort and to travel and write at leisure throughout her life. Her father and maternal grandfather were both practicing physicians, and they imbued her with a love of science and an interest in studying human behavior as well as a passion for literature.

Jewett’s formal education was surprisingly sporadic: Since she had little patience with classroom procedures and...

(The entire section is 733 words.)


(Society and Self, Critical Representations in Literature)

ph_0111201231-Jewett.jpg Sarah Orne Jewett Published by Salem Press, Inc.

Living at a time when women were overshadowed by the men in their lives, Sarah Orne Jewett as a girl began to establish her identity as an individual by observing closely and recording her observations in writing. As a child, she often accompanied her father, a physician, on his house calls, thereby coming into contact with the total community of South Berwick, with which she always strongly identified.

Jewett began publishing (as A. C. Eliot) when she was eighteen. Her first melodramatic story, “Jenny Garrow’s Lovers,” is set in England and is preposterous in its details although stylistically impressive. Jewett did not come into her own as a writer, however, until she focused on her New England surroundings in Deephaven, a series of thirteen interconnected sketches about life in a small Maine town as it is observed by two twenty-four-year-old women. Recent critics have detected veiled suggestions of lesbianism in this book and in elements of Jewett’s life.

Jewett published prolifically until a carriage accident in 1902 left her badly injured. She had published more than 150 sketches as well as two dozen children’s stories. She wrote three episodic novels, two novels for girls, and a children’s history. Her most celebrated works are Deephaven and The Country of the Pointed Firs.

Earlier dismissed as a marginal writer, Jewett has recently received renewed critical interest as a local colorist—in which category her stature is secure—and as a woman writer publishing at a time when the male publishing establishment was wary of female writers. Henry James’s reference to Jewett’s achievement did little to enhance Jewett’s reputation in her own time.


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Born in South Berwick, Maine, on September 3, 1849, Theodora Sarah Orne Jewett lived a quiet and happy childhood distinguished by the fact that she developed a keen interest in people and an insight into culture through traveling about the countryside with her father, who was a country doctor. Her interest in the people of Maine never diminished, even though she later traveled widely. She seems to have been much more interested in the people of the coastal villages and upland farms of Maine than she was in such friends as William Dean Howells, Annie Fields, and Thomas Bailey Aldrich, famous literary personages of the time. Jewett never married, nor did she go to college, although Bowdoin College awarded her an honorary Litt.D....

(The entire section is 841 words.)


(Masterpieces of American Literature)

ph_0111226249-Jewett.jpg Sarah Orne Jewett Published by Salem Press, Inc.

Theodora Sarah Orne Jewett was born in South Berwick, Maine, on September 3, 1849, the second of three daughters of Caroline Frances Perry Jewett and Dr. Theodore Herman Jewett. Her family was wealthy, thanks to an inheritance and to her father’s successful medical practice. She remained financially independent throughout her life and, therefore, felt little pressure to marry or to work for an income.

Jewett’s childhood experiences growing up in southern Maine became the main source of her stories. South Berwick in her time was an abandoned seaport, with memories of grand days when ships from the Maine coast sailed around the world bringing back the riches of Europe and the Orient. As a child, she spent hours...

(The entire section is 868 words.)


(Short Stories for Students)

Sarah Orne Jewett Published by Gale Cengage

Known primarily as a regional writer, Sarah Orne Jewett spent most of her life on the rugged Maine coast that is the setting for much of her...

(The entire section is 468 words.)