Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1884. First edition. Inscribed on the front fly leaf: “Lily Fairchild, With love from Sarah O. Jewett, 21 November 1883.” Original publisher’s brown and green cloth binding; minor shelf wear to head and crown of spine; small bumps to corners; small mark to back cover. Small tear to rear joint but text block fully attached and tight. Internally unmarked and clean. Near Fine Condition.
A rare copy of Jewett’s short story collection, which she wrote and published in the early years of her relationship with Annie Fields. Jewett and Fields’ life together was notably enriched by the creative and intellectually engaging circle of women with whom they surrounded themselves. Among these were Sally Fairchild and her mother, the famed poet and novelist Lily Fairchild (nom de plume C. A. Price) who oversaw an artistic salon in Boston. It is to Lily that Jewett inscribed this copy, presenting it before the book’s official release in 1884. The Mate of the Daylight received contemporary acclaim for its vivid representation of New Englanders’ lives. “Besides the pretty idyl which gives the title, there are other two of her best pieces, delineating country ways and character, the men and women who figure in them being so true to life that one can almost point out their like in any rural neighborhood. Could anything be more real than the incidents and human nature in these?” (Literary World).
Jewett’s correspondence with Sally and Lily Fairchild has been documented and preserved by Coe College. (Item #1993)