Celia Thaxter of the Isles of Shoals
by Julia Older
The Babb Family Association has reached agreement with Julia Older to digitize and distribute copies of her original works, which from here on I will deem the Isles of Shoals Collection. Julia has spent a lifetime writing about this place that she adores which is so deeply connected to the Babb Family History.
Why is this book important to descendants of Phillip Babb of the Isles of Shoals?
This is the first book in the collection where we convene some 161 years after Phillip Babb of the Isles of Shoals Death. Though he is long gone he is not forgotten. His ghost makes an appearance on page 72 when Celia Thaxter asks John if he isn’t afraid of Phillip’s ghost and he remarks “Oh, that rogue….”
It is a delightful journey through a Victorian time an incredible retreat for the literary types and the place where Phillip Babb first moored his boat in America.
The book is offered electronically for the first time as a PDF for you to read without having to leave the comfort and privacy of your own home. If you would rather have a signed physical copy of the book please contact me using the form at the bottom of this page and I’ll arrange a special audience with the new Master of the Isles.
–Daniel Greig Babb 2020
Poetry, romance, and murder combine in this historical novel based on the life of Celia Thaxter (1835-1894). A group of islands off the New Hampshire coast is the backdrop for Thaxter’s stormy separation from her husband and her granite determination to provide for their backward son by writing. Soon her essays appear alongside Longfellow’s in The Atlantic Monthly and her stories are published with Louisa May Alcott’s. The famous British author Charles Dickens dreams about Celia, and Harriet Beecher Stowe and Hawthorne visit the young writer at her parents’ resort hotel. Enter bachelor poet John Greenleaf Whittier, and at once Celia throws convention to the wind. Unchaperoned, they linger in her bedroom, dawdle at candlelit croquet, and take long moonlit strolls. A double axe murder and the hottest trial of the 19th century turns this captivating story into a real sizzler.
From the Publisher:
Older’s novel was featured in Paz Associates Reading Group Choices, 1998 and is receiving widespread attention from book clubs and discussion groups coast to coast. It also is being introduced into high school English and literature classes, along with Older’s companion book Celia Thaxter; Selected Writings