Thaxter, Celia (1835 - 1894)

Genre: Non-Fiction, Poetry

Celia Laighton Thaxter was born in Portsmouth NH but, at the age of four, moved to White Island, Isles of Shoals where her father accepted the job of lighthouse keeper.

She married at sixteen and moved to the mainland but, after ten years, returned to Appledore Island, Isles of Shoals -- the place where she felt most comfortable. She became the hostess at her father's hotel, Appledore House, welcoming many of the best and brightest New England had to offer in literary and artistic circles -- writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Whittier, Sarah Orne Jewett, and artists William Morris Hunt and Childe Hassam (who used Celia as a model, more than once).

She began writing poetry and essays and became one of nineteenth century-America's most-beloved writers.

She died on Appledore Island and was buried not far from the cottage where she lived.

Selected Bibliography

  • Among the Isles of Shoals (1873)
  • Drift-Weed (1879)
  • Poems for Children (1884)
  • An Island Garden with pictures and illuminations by Childe Hassam (1894)

Selected Resources