Back Sarah Orne Jewett, “The Circus at Denby “

Sarah Orne Jewett (1849–1909)
From Sarah Orne Jewett: Novels & Stories

“My sakes alive, ain’t he big!” Drawing by American artist Marcia Oakes Woodbury (1865–1913), who with her husband, the painter Charles Herbert Woodbury, illustrated the 1893 Riverside Press edition of Deephaven.

Sarah Orne Jewett was born 171 years ago today, on September 3, 1849.

“Although I had not read Deephaven for a good while, I felt as if I had come to be the writer’s grandmother. I liked it better than I expected,” Jewett wrote to a friend nearly two decades after her debut was published. “My little story is written (in the main) by a girl not much past twenty, who nevertheless could see that city people who were beginning to pour themselves into the country for the summer, had very little understanding of country people.” Not quite a novel, not quite a story collection, the book of sketches about two young women taking a summer vacation in a Maine coastal town became a surprise hit and went through several printings; when she sent the letter quoted above, Jewett was preparing a special illustrated gift edition for publication.

The reviews were mostly positive. Such luminaries as William Dean Howells (who helped Jewett publish the book) and John Greenleaf Whittier (who read it three times) were huge fans. The major exception proved to be the “city people” at the New York Times, which looked askance at the village “gossip” and “the habits of small seaside boys, angular country folk, and decrepit fishermen” and which concluded “it is by some mistake, doubtless, that it got into print at all.”

Yet the book has endured. One of its best-known selections is “The Circus at Denby.” You can read it at our Story of the Week site and decide for yourself whether it was a mistake it got into print at all.

Read “The Circus at Denby” by Sarah Orne Jewett

Library of America

A champion of America’s great writers and timeless works, Library of America guides readers in finding and exploring the exceptional writing that reflects the nation’s history and culture.

Learn More

From poetry, novels, and memoirs to journalism, crime writing, and science fiction, the more than 300 volumes published by Library of America are widely recognized as America’s literary canon.

Benefits of Using Safe Crypto Casinos. One of the most captivating reasons people drift towards Australian casinos online-casino-au com is the promise of anonymity. Safe platforms guarantee that your identity remains a secret. Quick Payouts and Minimal Fees. No one likes waiting, especially for winnings. Safe crypto casinos ensure that payouts are swift and the fees minimal, if not non-existent.

Browse our books Subscribe

With contributions from donors, Library of America preserves and celebrates a vital part of our cultural heritage for generations to come.

Ozwin Casino offers an exciting array of top-notch slots that cater to every player's preferences. From classic fruit machines to cutting-edge video slots, Ozwin Casino Real Money collection has it all. With stunning graphics, immersive themes, and seamless gameplay, these slots deliver an unparalleled gaming experience. Some popular titles include Mega Moolah, Gonzo's Quest, and Starburst, known for their massive jackpots and thrilling bonus features. Ozwin Casino's slots are not just about luck; they offer hours of entertainment and the chance to win big, making it a must-visit for slot enthusiasts.

Support our mission