Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

The Country of the Pointed Firs
Sarah Orne Jewett


The Country of the Pointed Firs is a sequence of vignettes and sketches, short stories loosely grouped as a novel. Its setting is Dunnet Landing on the coast of Maine, a fictitious town based on the author’s birthplace. The theme of its locality is more prominent than its use of plot or character. It is a prime example of American local color writing.

This novel, the highpoint of Sarah Orne Jewett’s work, was published in 1896, just six years before her writing career was cut short by a riding accident when aged 53. Willa Cather, who met Jewett in 1908 and who later edited this book, considered Jewett to be a great influence on her own writing, and held that The Country of the Pointed Firs, alongside Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter and Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, was one of “three American books which have the possibility of a long, long life.” Henry James considered the book to be a “beautiful little quantum of achievement.”

Paperback, 120pp
ABPress, 2021 (1896)
ISBN 9781913464059


SARAH ORNE JEWETT (1849-1909) was a prolific American author and poet from South Berwick, Maine. First published at the age of nineteen, Jewett started her career early, combining her love of nature with her literary talent. Known for vividly depicting coastal Maine settings, Jewett was a major figure in the American literary regionalism genre. Though she never married, Jewett lived and traveled with fellow writer Annie Adams Fields, who supported her in her literary endeavors.