Julia Older was captivated with the Isles of Shoals since her first trip to the islands. She has produced 3 books thus far about the Island and its inhabitants.. The Island’s history runs directly through the family line of Phillip Babb, the legendary sheriff of the Isles of Shoals. These islands provided the spark for Jean A Sargent to create the Babb Family Association and they also provided the spark for Daniel G Babb to become the Genealogist for the Association.
Phillip and Celia Thaxter’s stories intertwine and her garden is on Babb’s Cove and sits on land once owned by Phillip himself. The books are entertaining reading and This Desired Place is a must have for Phillip’s descendants. It is the most important book about Phillip ever written!
The e-books are now available individually or as a set for the first time on this site.
–Daniel Greig Babb
Synopsis: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
In the second novel of Julia Older’s Isles of Shoals Trilogy, Thom Taylor sails to the New World in the 17th century only to be washed onto the lawless Shoals at Hog Island off the Maine/New Hampshire coasts. Within days the bawdy islander Phillip Babb has the shipwrecked orphan indentured at a fishing stage and up to his knees in cod. The Babbs and their Barbadoes servant Pru are but a few of the true-to-life New Englanders who encounter the fictive narrator as he comes of age.
Thom gets involved in the plot to kidnap the first New Hampshire governor John Cutt, becomes entangled in forced Indian marches by Major Walderne, witnesses the trial of witch Goody Cole, gives chase to Captain Quelch and Captain Kidd, rubs shoulders with Judge Samuel Sewall, gets caught up in the hanging fervor of Boston big-wig Cotton Mather, and fends off marmalade madams at Strawbery Banke. This Desired Place is a deeply researched saga of pirates and Puritans struggling for wealth and power when adolescent America was growing into a nation.
From the Inside Flap:
In the second novel of Julia Older’s deeply researched trilogy, Thom Taylor is cast onto the lawless Isles of Shoals at the gateway to the New World. Bawdy butcher Babb and his saucy Barbadoes servant are but a few real-life characters and documented events that help and hinder the fictive narrator in this sweeping 17th century saga. Although Shoals mistress Mary Babb, Hampton witch Goody Cole and Strawbery Banke marmalade madams are hardly mother figures, Thom holds onto their apron strings. Just when he’s free from gueling cod fishing indenture, he’s pressed on a forced march into wilderness by the Portsmouth Provincial Militia. He escapes a bloody northern Indian massacre only to be deployed by Major Walderne and Massachusetts officers in a “mock battle” betraying 300 Native Abenaki to West Indies slavers. Longing for Babb’s Barbadoes mistress, and sick of Shoals drink, dice, and deflowering, Thom sets sail with Mainer Captain Phips to salvage sunken gold. A mutinous plot cutting the voyage short returns him to a nest of pirates anchored at the Shoals. Summoned to testify at their trial, Thom and Judge Samuel Sewall are caught in the hanging fervor of Boston big-wig Cotton Mather. Tight-laced Puritans are no match for the spirit and industry of these northerners in this ground-breaking novel. They are the real blood-and-guts of This Desired Place.
Prefaced and Edited by Julia Older
Nature─ Poetry─ Gardening─ Letters─ Stories─ Murder
Celia Thaxter was one of the nineteenth century’s most talented, prolific, and versatile writers. Readers of Older’s novel The Island Queen, kept asking her where they could find Thaxter’s books. To rescue Thaxter’s extraordinary legacy from literary oblivion, Older culled selections from her own library. Happily, this objective has sparked several reprints of Thaxter books. From Celia’s first widely-anthologized, and memorized, Atlantic poem “The Sandpiper” to her chilling eye-witness best-seller “A Memorable Murder,” Selected Writings is a literary find for readers of all ages.
A Bibliography of Published Books
by Juila Older
ENDOMETRIOSIS: A Woman’s Guide Foreword by Anne Ward, MD, Scribners & Sons Several reprints 1984-2006. (Out of Print)
APPALACHIAN ODYSSEY Walking The Trail From Georgia to Maine
co-authored with Steve Sherman. Foreword by Edward Abbey, Stephen Greene 1976,
Paper, 1977. several reprints, OP Authors Guild Back-in-Print, 3rd Edition. 2009, NOBA Classic Award; Authors Guild-Open Door 4th Ed. reprint, Amazon kindle/POD. 2016
NATURE WALKS IN SOUTHERN NH* With Steve Sherman, Appalachian Mt Club Bks. OP
NATURE WALKS IN THE NH LAKES REGION* AMC BOOKS OP
NATURE WALKS ALONG THE SEACOAST,* (MA, NH, Me), AMC Amc Books. OP
* e-walks still available online.
GRAND MONADNOCK: The Most Climbed Mountain In America, Text & Photographs
co authored-photographed by Steve Sherman, Appledore Books, OP
GRAND MONADNOCK, Second Edition. New material ( Photos, text), 2003.
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CREATIVE COOKING (12 volumes) with Steve Sherman. ECB Enterprise, Australia / Stephen Greene Press (Vt) OP
CELIA THAXTER: SELECTED WRITINGS Appledore Books First ed.,1998. (3000 copies)
BORIS VIAN INVENTS BORIS VIAN (See above entry).
Novels / Researched Historical Trilogy
THE ISLAND QUEEN: Celia Thaxter of the Isles Of Shoals Appledore Books 1st Printing OP
THE ISLAND QUEEN Second Edition, 1998 Nearly OP
THIS DESIRED PLACE: The Isles of Shoals Appledore Books, First Edition, Hardcover, 2007
Independent Publisher Gold Medal for New England / New York Fiction.
Poetry/ Booklength Poems / Verse Play
TALES OF THE FRANÇOIS VASE Hobblebush Books NH Poetry Series, Booklength Poem
Vase Details, Backstory, (Research translated by author from Italian), CD of NPR drama
chosen for coast-to-coast syndication by Radio Works, NY. Hobblebush Bks, 72pp, 2012.
TALES OF THE FRANÇOIS VASE (Verse Play for Radio) Kevin Gardner, Director/produced
Premier NH Public Radio 1999. Radio Works in NY selected TALES for syndicated broadcast to 60 NPR stations in their 2000-2001 season). Tape OP NH premier (45 minutes) .
ROLLING THE SUN Cover photo of painting by Abbot Thayer) Appledore Books, 78pp, 2005.
TAHIRIH UNVEILED (Booklength Researched Biographical poem) Turning Point Bks, Ohio.
Cover/ poet wears her poem “First Veil” translated into Farsee and embroidered by Rubia Afghan Women’s Collective, 2007.) International Independent Publisher National Bronze Poetry Medal 2008. Puffin Foundation & The Nation (magazine) Writers’Grant NYC, Soho, 2006, NH Poet Laureate Collaboration Grant, 2007, Deming Money for Women Poetry Grant
for translation (English-Persian) and poetry display, 2006.
HERMPAHRODITUS IN AMERICA Booklength Poem,160 pp, Appledore Books, NH. 2001
THE OSSABAW BOOK OF HOURS (sequence) Walking to Windward 21 chapbooks in 4 box series. Maxine Kumin selected two of mine. Oyster River Press. Durham, NH, 2001.
CITY IN THE SKY (chapbook sequence, see above) Walking to Windward Series, Cover phtoto Oyster River Press. 2001
HIGHER LATITUDES, Appledore Books, Paperback 1986 (1000 print run, OP)
A LITTLE WILD. Woodcuts by the author, Signed Handbound Letterpress Edition. Woodblock prints by author. Typographeum Press, 1987. OP
OONTS & OTHERS, Title page drawings by author. Foreword by Rosellen Brown, First Poetry Book NEA Grant, Unicorn Press, Greensboro, NC. 1982. 20 signed cloth hardcover letterpress
copies. Hardcover edition (1500 copies),1982 OP. Paper edition, 500 copies, OP
APPALACHIAN ODYSSEY (includes poems written on the Appalachian Traill). (see above) MAN ON A GREEN BENCH U/ Michigan First Avery Hopwood Award sequence. Typed ms. 1963.
SOUP & BREAD co-authored with Steve Sherman, Foreword by MFK Fisher
James Beard Tastemaker’s Choice Nomination., Stephen Greene Press (hard, soft cover) OP
MENUS A TROIS (Soups, Salads & Breads) co-authored with Steve Sherman
Book of the Month Club Selection, Stephen Green Press/Pelham Books OP
COOKING WITHOUT FUEL Forgotten Arts Series, Yankee Books OP
THE NH DINING GUIDE co-authored with Steve Sherman. Phoenix Publishers OP
THE ULTIMATE SOUP BOOK co-authored with Steve Sherman. Plume Penguin OP
THE FOREIGNER IN ME: by Sicilian Nobel Poet Salvatore Quasimodo.
Mid-American Review (MAR) Translation Chapbook Series, Bilingual, 22 pp #38 June 2018
THAT BOY WITH VERSES IN HIS POCKET by Sicilian Nobel Poet Salvatore Quasimodo.
Foldout Letterpress Book, 8 poems, Bob & Susan Arnold, Longhouse Publishers, Jan 1, 2018.
MY UNIVERSAL JOINTS by French poet Boris Vian.
Foldout Letterpress Book, 8 poems, Bob & Susan Arnold, Longhouse Publishers, Feb 2018
BORIS VIAN INVENTS BORIS VIAN: A Vian Reader, Julia Older Editor/Translator.
Illustrations by Julia Older. Preface by Patrick Vian (Vian’s son). Black Widow Press, French surrealist poets, Boston and New Orleans. Distributed by NBN, Paperback, 207 pages (French & English) July, 2015.
BLUES FOR A BLACK CAT And Other Stories by Boris Vian. Foreword by Louis Malle. University of Nebraska French Modernist Series, Richard Howard, Editor. Hardcover OP. U/Nebraska Press Anniversary Reprint Paper Edition 2001.
BLUES FOR A BLACK CAT And Other Stories by Boris Vian; New Delhi, India: French Embassy Rupa Co. edition 2005