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

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Items in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. The Boston Public Library does not hold copyright on the material in this collection. Researchers are responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations that hold copyright.

When reproducing material from this collection please include the credit line "Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/Rare Books."

Biographical or Historical Information

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



The majority of letters in this collection of correspondence of American author and poet Celia Thaxter (1835-1894) are addressed to the American writer Annie Fields (1834-1915) and document Thaxter's daily life. The letters cover a number of subjects including family and domestic life, gardening, writing projects, her experiences with Spiritualism as well as visits with, and discussions of, the notable writers, artists, musicians and spiritualists of her day.

Arrangement Note

Arranged chronologically.

Source of Acquisition


Processing Information

Finding aid written by Rare Books and Manuscripts staff.
Celia Thaxter correspondence with Annie Fields
Description rules
Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules
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