My special author is Celia Laighton Thaxter. When I was in eighth grade I read a biography called Sandpiper written by her granddaughter, Rosamond Thaxter. Celia lived on White Island, part of the Isles of Shoals, where her father was the lighthouse keeper. She later resided on Appledore Island where the family ran the Appledore Hotel. Island life was isolated for a child and Celia amused herself writing poetry and keeping a flower garden. Several Boston literary figures summer vacationed on the island, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier, Thomas Bailey Aldrich and Sarah Orne Jewett. They would influence her life and her writings. Celia later married Levi Lincoln Thaxter, a teacher, and moved to Massachusetts where she raised their three boys.
Celia longs for the Isles, as evidence shows in the following verses from”Land-locked” (1860):
“…I but crave
The sad, caressing murmur of the wave
That breaks in tender music on the shore.”
You can almost hear the waves hitting the rocky coastline of the Isles as you read the entire poem.
In “My Garden” (1894) she wrote about the array of flowers she planted:
“More dear to me than words can tell
Was every cup and spray and leaf;
Too perfect for a life so brief
Seemed every star and bud and bell.”
After Levi’s death in 1884, Celia returned to her beloved Isles of Shoals and lived there until her death in 1894.
Why not share your favorite summer book and author with us? You may find a new favorite to add to your summer reading list.