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.
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.)
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.)
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.)
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.)