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Concertina book

An homage to Celia Thaxter
19th Century poet, artist, gardener,

5.5x24 inches
12 collaged panels

Cotton, silk, antique lace, antique doily,
buttons, beads, embroidery,
photo images of Celia's garden, web images of Celia and son

Daughter of Thomas Leighton, Celia was born in Portsmouth NH but lived for most of her life on the Isles of Shoals, a series of small islands nine miles off the coast where her father became keeper of the White Island light.

It was there that she met Levi Thaxter, a Bostonian near-do-well who came to tutor Celia and her brothers. She was romantically attracted to Levi and married him while still in her teens.

Celia's marriage to Levi was sad and disappointing.She disliked living away from the sea. While in suburban Boston, they lived in house purchased for them by Levi's parents and had two sons. They were often quite destitute as Levi was a poor provider.

However, these difficult years of longing were overshadowed by Celia's growing fame as a writer of prose and poetry. Her work, initially published by the Atlantic Monthly, became widely known and read and she later published small volumes. It was her writing and her delicate painting on china that sustained the family financially.

But it was her role as salon hostess on Appledore that brought joy to her. It was there that the most celebrated artists and writers of the day came seeking the cool fresh ocean breezes. Childe Hassam, Ralph Waldo Emerson and others among the intelligensia of the day were entertained in her salon which is said to be among the first of the artist colonies in the America.
Celia is also know for her garden which survives still due to the diligent efforts of the Rye Garden Club and others who re-claimed it from brambles and gave it new life using Celia's precise plans and drawings from her book, An Island Garden.

This is original work
uploaded by PatStudio.
Please be kind.
Do not use without

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