Skip to main content

Celia Thaxter correspondence with Annie Fields

 Collection — Container: MS C.1.38
Call Number: MS C.1.38

Scope and Contents

This collection contains 269 letters written by Celia Thaxter (1835-1894) between 1869 and 1893. The majority of the letters are addressed to American writer Annie Fields (1834-1915) and document Thaxter’s daily life: writing and other artistic endeavors, gardening, book discussions, family troubles and successes, domestic life and her experiences with Spiritualism. She often included descriptions of nature in her letters and was well-known for her descriptions of the Isle of Shoals, first from the serial publication of her essays in the Atlantic Monthly, then later as a single, collected volume titled Among the Isles of Shoals.

Also documented are visits with, and discussions of, noted writers, artists, musicians and spiritualists including Rose Darrah, Mohini Chattergi, John Knowles Paine, Sarah Orne Jewett, John Greenleaf Whittier, William Morris Hunt and Oliver Wendell Holmes. In addition, the collection contains approximately five letters regarding the infamous murders at Smuttynose Island, about which Thaxter later wrote an essay entitled “A Memorable Murder”.

Letters from Celia Thaxter to Annie Fields have been published in Letters of Celia Thaxter, edited by Annie Fields and Rose Lamb, (Boston and New York, Houghton, Mifflin and company, 1895.).


  • 1869-1893


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Items in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. In most cases, the Boston Public Library does not hold the copyright to the items in our collections. It is the sole responsibility of the user to make their own determination about what types of usage might be permissible under U.S. and international copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

Celia Thaxter (1835-1894) was an American author and poet. She was born in New Hampshire and grew up on the Isle of Shoals, where she returned for long periods of time throughout her life. She left the Isle of Shoals in the 1850s, eventually settling in Newtonville, MA. She died on August 25, 1894.


269.00 Items

Language of Materials



Arranged chronologically.

Source of Acquisition


Processing Information

Finding aid written by Rare Books and Manuscripts staff.

Processing Information

This electronic finding aid is transcribed from legacy data. In many cases, transcriptions were not verified against collection materials at the time of transcription. As a result, this finding aid could be incomplete and might only reflect a partial understanding of the material.

Statement on harmful description

Archival description reflects the biases of time periods and cultures in which it was created and may include direct quotations or descriptions that use inappropriate or harmful language. Creator provided descriptions may be maintained in order to preserve the context in which the collection was created and/or used. Legacy description and potentially offensive content may be made available online until a collection can be reprocessed because the access that they provide to primary source materials is uniquely valuable to the research community at large. Our efforts to repair outdated descriptions and to describe our collections more equitably are iterative and ongoing.

Celia Thaxter correspondence with Annie Fields
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

About this library

Part of the Boston Public Library Archives & Special Collections Repository

700 Boylston Street
Boston MA 02116 United States