“In the life of each of us, I said to myself, there is a place remote and islanded, and given to endless regret or secret happiness; we are each the uncompanioned hermit and recluse of an hour or a day; we understand our fellows of the cell to whatever age of history they may belong.” - Sarah Orne Jewett, The Country of the Pointed Firs
A Bostonian decides to spend the summer in a small seaport in Maine to finish her book. She doesn’t find the peace in Mrs. Todd’s house so she goes to an abandoned schoolhouse where she can meditate and concentrate. There she discovers the unique beauty of the decaying seaport.
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The critical introduction situates the text in its historical, cultural, and literary milieu, attending to its place in Jewett’s oeuvre and in her biography. Appendices include earlier “local color” writing by Jewett and others, Jewett’s letters, and contemporary reviews of the novel.