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Authors and Friends

by Annie Fields

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Annie Adams Fields was an American author, born in Boston, Massachusetts, she was the second wife of the publisher and author James Thomas Fields, whom she married in 1854, and with whom she encouraged up and coming writers such as Sarah Orne Jewett, Mary Freeman, and Emma Lazarus. She was equally at home with great and established figures including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Harriet Beecher Stowe, whose biography she fearlessly compiled. After Fields' husband died in 1881, she continued to occupy the center of Boston literary life. The hallmark of Fields' work is a sympathetic understanding of her friends, who happened to be the leading literary figures of her time.

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The solitude of Celia Thaxter's childhood, which was not solitude, surrounded as she was with the love of a father and a mother, all tenderness, and brothers dear to her as her own life, developed in the child strange faculties. She was five years old when the family left Portsmouth,--old enough, given her inborn power of enjoyment of nature, to delight in the free air and the wonderful sights around her. She gives in her book a pretty picture of the child watching the birds that flew against the lighthouse lantern, when they lived at White Island. The birds would strike it with such force as to kill themselves.



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