Celia Thaxter (1835-1894), poet
Celia Thaxter House
Celia Thaxters first poem, Land Locked, was published without her knowledge in 1860, four years after she moved to this Late Victorian home in Newton from her childhood home on the tiny islands off the New Hampshire coast. During her lifetime and briefly thereafter, Thaxter was one of the better known women poets in America. Her poems appeared in the Atlantic, the Independent, Scribners and Harpers. Two books of poems were also published, Poems in 1872 and Among the Isles of the Shoals in 1873. In both content and style, her verse owes much to New England writers James Russell Lowell and John Greenleaf Whittier, who, during stays at her family's island hotel, urged Thaxter to write. The similarities only went so far, though. Thaxter's subjects and style differed from those of other regional writers of the day, for she seldom alluded to people and instead dealt chiefly with natural themes--the sea, rocks and flowers of her earlier island home. While she cared for her eldest son who had been mentally ill from a young age, Thaxter spent a lot of time away from her "forlorn and shabby" Newton home. Three years later, in 1890, the house was sold.
The Celia Thaxter House is located at 524 California St. in Newton, MA. The property is a private residence and not open to the public.
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