The Country of the Pointed Firs
  • Publication Date: November 13, 2009
  • ISBN: 9781551118345 / 1551118343
  • 294 pages; 8½" x 5½"

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The Country of the Pointed Firs

  • Publication Date: November 13, 2009
  • ISBN: 9781551118345 / 1551118343
  • 294 pages; 8½" x 5½"

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A sharply observed, affectionate, and unsentimental portrait of life in a Maine fishing village, The Country of the Pointed Firs is Sarah Orne Jewett’s most enduring work, and commonly regarded as the finest example of American regionalist literature in the nineteenth century. It was originally published in four installments of the Atlantic Monthly in 1896; this Broadview Edition is based on the Atlantic serialization and also includes the four other stories set in Dunnet Landing.

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.


“In this centenary year of the author’s death Broadview Press is to be commended for bringing forth an excellent new edition of Sarah Orne Jewett’s great work, The Country of the Pointed Firs. Considered by Willa Cather one of the American books guaranteed to endure, the text is here reproduced in its original integrity, after which are appended the sequel Dunnet Landing stories. Deborah Carlin’s exceptionally informative annotations to the text will greatly enrich readers’ appreciation and understanding. Also supplied is a useful selection of supplementary critical and historical material, including a rare, little-known, and very valuable 1895 interview with Jewett. The Country of the Pointed Firs is a distinguished addition to the impressive Broadview Editions series; I highly recommend it for classroom use, as well as for the general reader.” — Josephine Donovan, Professor Emerita of English, University of Maine

Sarah Orne Jewett: A Brief Chronology
A Note on the Text

The Country of the Pointed Firs
The Dunnet Landing Stories

  • “The Queen’s Twin” (1899)
    “A Dunnet Shepherdess” (1899)
    “The Foreigner” (1900)
    “William’s Wedding” (1910)

Appendix A: Before The Country of the Pointed Firs:
Precursors and Influences

  1. Sarah Orne Jewett, Preface to Deephaven (1893)
  2. Sarah Orne Jewett, Chapter Five, “The Captains,” from Deephaven (1893)
  3. Harriet Beecher Stowe, “Aunt Roxy and Aunt Ruey,” Chapter Four of The Pearl of Orr’s Island: A Story of the Coast of Maine (1862)

Appendix B: Local Color Literature: Nineteenth-Century Formulations and Definitions

  1. William Dean Howells, “Editor’s Study” (1887)
  2. Hamlin Garland, “Local Color in Art” (1894)
  3. Bret Harte, “The Rise of the ‘Short Story’” (1899)

Appendix C: Selected Letters of Sarah Orne Jewett

  1. To Annie Fields (June 1885)
  2. From a letter to Annie Fields (12 October 1890)
  3. From a letter to Annie Fields (1899 or 1890)
  4. To Willa Sibert Cather (27 November 1908)
  5. To Willa Sibert Cather (13 December 1908)

Appendix D: Reviews of The Country of the Pointed Firs

  1. Overland Monthly (29 January 1897)
  2. Atlantic Monthly (February 1897)
  3. The Critic (13 February 1897)
  4. The Nation (15 April 1897)
  5. Alice Brown, Book Buyer (15 October 1897)

Appendix E: Profiles of Sarah Orne Jewett

  1. Anonymous, “Miss Jewett” (January 1894)
  2. Anonymous, “Pleasant Day With Miss Jewett” (August 1895)

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Deborah Carlin is Professor of American Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.